According to the official news release, hackers managed to breach the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). With the information of 4 million federal government workers exposed, it is one of the biggest in the federal government’s history. The hack was discovered because “within the last year, the OPM has undertaken an aggressive effort to update its cybersecurity posture, adding numerous tools and capabilities to its networks”.
In order to determine the full impact the OPM is now investigating the issue together with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In their statement the agency wrote: “Since the intrusion, OPM has instituted additional network security precautions, including: restricting remote access for network administrators and restricting network administration functions remotely; a review of all connections to ensure that only legitimate business connections have access to the internet; and deploying anti-malware software across the environment to protect and prevent the deployment or execution of tools that could compromise the network.”
Sounds all good, but who is to blame? According to The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal the hackers might have been Chinese, a link that China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman calls “irresponsible”.