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Old 05-06-15, 19:19   #1
 
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Hacker US Govt/Feds Computers Hacked >30yrs of Info Stolen

Data Hacked from Federal Government Dates Back to 1985 -U.S. Official

Daily Mail UK, 5 June 2015


WASHINGTON, 5 June (Reuters) -

Data stolen from U.S. government computers by suspected Chinese hackers included security clearance information and background checks dating back three decades, U.S. officials said on Friday, underlining the scope of one of the largest known cyber attacks on federal networks.


The breach of computer systems of the Office of Personnel Management was disclosed on Thursday by the Obama administration, which said records of up to 4 million current and former federal employees may have been compromised.
U.S. government sources said the hackers were believed to have been based in China but it was not yet known if the massive hacking was state-sponsored.

The breach was among the most far-reaching thefts of information on the federal work force.



"This is deep. The data goes back to 1985," said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "This means that they potentially have information about retirees, and they could know what they did after leaving government."

Access to information from OPM's computers, such as birthdates, Social Security numbers and bank information, could help hackers test potential passwords to other sites, including those containing information about critical weapons systems, the official said.


"That could give them a huge advantage," the official said.

Cyber investigators have linked the OPM breach to earlier thefts of personal data from millions of records at Anthem Inc , the second largest U.S. health insurer, and Premera Blue Cross, a healthcare services provider.

It was the second computer break-in in less than a year at OPM, the federal government's personnel office and the latest in a string of cyber attacks on U.S. agencies, some of which have been blamed on Chinese hackers.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said such accusations had been frequent of late and were irresponsible. Hacking attacks were often cross-border and hard to trace, he said.

But another U.S. official said the United States believed the hack was of "Chinese origin," but the source offered no details on how U.S authorities came to that conclusion.


Disclosure of the latest computer breach comes ahead of the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue due to be held in Washington on June 22-24. Cyber security was already expected to be high on the agenda.

Tension between Washington and Beijing has intensified over Chinese assertiveness in maritime disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it aimed to bring to account those responsible for the hacking.

OPM detected new malicious activity affecting its information systems in April and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it concluded at the beginning of May that the agency's data had been compromised and about 4 million workers may have been affected.

The breach hit OPM's IT systems and its data stored at the Department of the Interior's data center, a shared service center for federal agencies, a DHS official said on condition of anonymity.

Chinese hackers were blamed for penetrating OPM's computer networks last year, and hackers appeared to have targeted files on tens of thousands of employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, the New York Times reported last July, citing unnamed U.S. officials.


UPDATE:

WARNING IS ISSUED > You've Been Hacked ... Do This Right Now!!

AP, 5 June 2015


The entire U.S. Federal Workforce may be at risk after yet another intrusion from what security experts believe were hackers based in China. The Department of Homeland Security says that data from the Office of Personnel Management — the human resources department for the federal government — and the Interior Department has been infiltrated.

It is not the first and it follows massive data breaches at health insurance companies, major U.S. banks like JPMorgan and retailers such as Target and Home Depot.

Here's what to do if you think you've been compromised:


FIRST THINGS FIRST

— Notify the credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and request a 90-day credit alert. (Each reporting agency is supposed to notify the others, but you may want to contact all three yourself.) The alert tells businesses to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. You can renew the alert every 90 days, or you're entitled to keep it in effect for seven years if you find that your identity is stolen and file a report with police.
— You might consider asking the reporting agencies to place a full freeze on your credit. This blocks any business from checking your credit to open a new account, so it's a stronger measure than a credit alert. BUT you should weigh that against the hassle of notifying credit agencies to lift the freeze — which can take a few days — every time you apply for a loan, open a new account or even sign up for utility service.


BE A DETECTIVE

— When your credit card bill comes, check closely for any irregularities. And don't overlook small charges. Crooks are known to charge smaller amounts, usually under $10, to see if you notice. If you don't, they may charge larger amounts later.
— Get a free credit report once a year from at least one of the major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), and review it for unauthorized accounts. Ignore services that charge a fee for credit reports. You can order them without charge at www.annualcreditreport.com . If you order from each agency once a year, you could effectively check your history every four months.

DO PAID SERVICES WORK?

— Some experts say there's not much to be gained from a paid credit monitoring service. But it can't hurt to sign up for any monitoring offered for free by a company or any other entity that may have held your information when it was hacked. NOTE: These services will tell you if a new account is opened in your name, but they won't prevent it, and many don't check for things like bogus cellphone accounts, fraudulent applications for government benefits or claims for medical benefits. Some do offer limited insurance or help from a staffer trained to work with credit issuers and reporting agencies.

SOMEONE DID STEAL MY IDENTITY, WHAT DO I DO?

— Contact the credit issuer to dispute fraudulent charges and have the bogus account closed.
— Request your credit report and ask the reporting agencies to remove bogus accounts or any incorrect information from your record. See tip #1 on setting up a credit alert and/or freeze.
— Submit a report through the FTC website: www.consumer.ftc.gov. Click the "privacy & identity" tab, which will walk you through creating an affidavit you can show to creditors.
— Keep copies of all reports and correspondence. Use certified mail to get delivery receipts, and keep notes on every phone call.

AVOID ADDITIONAL HACKS

— After a hack, scammers may try to use the stolen data to trick you into giving up more personal information. They can use that info to steal money in your accounts or open new credit cards.
— Don't click on any links from emails. Bad software could be downloaded to your computer that can steal account passwords.
— You might get letters in the mail saying you won a tablet or vacation and give you a phone number to call. Don't do it. It's likely a ploy to gather more information from you.
— Hang up the phone if you get a call asking for account numbers or other information. Scammers may also send texts, so don't click on any links from numbers you don't know.


ONE MORE RESOURCE:

The FTC now has a website www.identitytheft.gov that provides step-by-step advice and more information on what to do if you think you have been the victim of a data breach.
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