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Hacking Attack Highlights U.S. Lack Of Cybersecurity

Hacking Attack Highlights U.S. Lack Of Cybersecurity

On Thursday, U.S. officials revealed that a large scale hacking attack on government computers may have compromised the personal data of current and former federal employees.

The hackers targeted the U.S. Office of Personal Management's computer system, which stores data on everything from employee records to security clearance details.

Foreign Link

Reuters reported that law enforcement officials are investigating the link between this attack and the breach suffered by healthcare insurer Anthem Inc (NYSE: ANTM) earlier this year.

Investigators believe that the hackers were foreign and could possibly be linked to the Chinese government, though Chinese officials have denied any involvement.

Related Link: Are Cybersecurity Stocks Moving On The Government Surveillance Expiration?

Exposing Weakness

This attack serves to further expose the lack of protection the U.S. public and private sectors have against cybercrime.

Hacking techniques are rapidly changing and the development of security practices is lagging. Data breaches have become one of the U.S.'s major security concerns this year, after several high profile attacks on both the public and private sectors proved there's much work to be done in this space.

Reluctance To Collaborate

Although there has been a push in Washington, D.C. for collaboration between the public and the private sectors when it comes to cybersecurity, many private firms are reluctant to participate in data sharing schemes.

Earlier this year, the White House created an incentive program to encourage companies to share data with the government in order to improve the nation's cybersecurity.

However, this breach in the personnel department will likely deter many firms from data sharing as it demonstrates how exposed their data would be in the hands of the U.S. government.

Image Credit: Public Domain


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