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Huge hack hits US government, Chinese hackers to blame?

Cyber attack

Data on up to 4 million US citizens may have been compromised after the US Government's Office of Personal Management (OPM), the body in charge of security clearances and employee records for the federal government, was apparently hacked.

The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged "at the beginning of May" that the records had been taken. The Wall Street Journal quotes US Officials describing the breach as "one of the largest known thefts of government data in history" with Chinese hackers being the prime suspect in the attack.

What makes this particular attack more worrying is that the OPM handles sensitive details of 1.5 million US military personnel with the impact potentially felt across most, if not all federal agencies in the country.

Success story

It seems that hackers are having a field day with similar attacks that, although not on the same scale, are being reported almost on a weekly basis.

US Insurance provider Anthem saw its 80-million-user database compromised last year with criminals making off with databases from Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase that totalled more than 130 million customers.