Want to Read Hillary’s E-mails? Ask ChinaPosted: June 6, 2015
China appears to have scored a major win here
Tom Rogan writes: ‘We have a lot of information about people, and that is something that our adversaries want.”
That’s how Donna Seymour, an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) official recently described the OPM hacking to a reporter for the Washington Post. As we found out yesterday, in April, Chinese hackers intruded OPM networks and potentially acquired the personal information of 4 million U.S. government employees.
“China has exceptionally capable, experienced, and wide-ranging cyber-hacking forces. These units are experts at both physical access and remote penetration of network-security systems.”
So how did this happen? Well, according to an OPM press release, the agency has been upgrading its network security over the past year. That said, yesterday’s press release also notes that it was only after the April hacking that OPM focused on “restricting remote access for network administrators…and deploying anti-malware software” against
programs that might “compromise the network.” In short, OPM hasn’t beenmoving fast enough to prevent hacking.
“In short, everything you would never want your enemy to know about you – from a counterintelligence viewpoint, this breach represents a true nightmare scenario.”
Regardless, it makes sense that China was involved in the intrusion. For a start, China has exceptionally capable, experienced, and wide-ranging cyber-hacking forces. These units are experts at both physical access and remote penetration of network-security systems.
Moreover, China has a penchant for attacking the OPM. In July last year, the New York Times reported on China’s hacking of OPM information on applicants for top-secret security clearances.
That the OPM didn’t urgently upgrade its security after that 2014 incident is inexcusable. We’ve paid the price in our damaged national security.
So China appears to have scored a major win here. John Schindler, a former NSA counter-intelligence official and the author of the 20 Committee strategy blog told me that OPM information can be “vital to recruiting or compromising” U.S. government officials…(read more)