People want to know who hacked the US government, but it seems like the answer is out of their reach.
A second wave of hack-attacks has hit the US government. The first time, they claimed that 4.2 million people were affected by the attack. Now, after the second round, this number has been upped to 21 million people. According to CTV, this is the biggest online security breach the United States has ever seen. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in OPM Director Katherina Archuleta’s place right now… The opposition is demanding already that she step down.
With a cyber attack of this size, the level of trust felt for other online entities, like e-merchants and US internet casinos is in jeopardy. The Office of Personnel Management possesses all the information that comes up when a person is vetted for a government job. So, information like Social Security numbers, residency and criminal records, health files were all in one place and tied up with a nice bow for hackers to find and steal.
Someone hacked the US government…but WHO?
As far as frustrating things go, the administration is not big on releasing information on who attacked the OPM. According to CTV, Michael Daniel (the government’s cybersecurity coordinator) said in a public statement: “Just because we’re not doing public attribution does not mean that we’re not taking steps to deal with the matter.” But, being unsure breeds theories, and some politicians are accusing China of the breach. The Chinese government, however, has denied the allegations.
US government officials say that so far, there has been no evidence that the stolen piles of data have been used in any form. However, at this point, we have to stop and ask the question: after such a huge break-in, is the government qualified to determine whether the taken information has been (or is, right this moment, being) used? Many people would agree that the answer to that is a definite “No.” As to what will happen to other sites relying on personal details, like online poker sites in the US, we have yet to see the consequences.