The industry is attempting to determine if the hackers that breached government employee files also affected them.
Cybersecurity experts are cautioning insurance companies that the same Chinese hackers that were behind the data breach of a minimum of four million government employee files may also have been responsible for similar data thefts at two health care giants: Premera and Anthem.
The tremendous hack to the Office of Personnel Management was likely not the first large scale American hack for the group.
There have been a series of different attacks that started in 2014 and that had been spotted earlier this year. They appear to have been only a mark of the start of a time of heightened cybersecurity threats that involve massive quantities of data, without any obvious reason for the hackers to take the data in the first place. As of yet, there isn’t any evidence that files have been altered or that the insurance companies and government employee data that was collected was used for any criminal reasons such as identity theft or fraudulent purchases.
So far, the hackers appear to have been collecting vast personal information databases from the government and insurance companies.
While some of the government employee data collected by the hackers from the Office of Personnel Management had higher levels of security clearance, millions of other files had far lower levels of security clearance, which has left investigators confused as to the actual purpose of the theft.
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It has already been made clear through forensic evidence that the hacks were not the result of one of the People’s Liberation Army’s hacking units. Those units were placed in the spotlight, last year, when an American federal indictment named them as intellectual property theft participants. That said, the researchers have said that in the case of the insurance industry and the government agency hack, different tools were used from those used by the Third Department of the Liberation Army.
That said, this does not mean that the attacks on the data from the insurance companies and the government employee database were not from some other state-sponsored group. It also doesn’t mean that it is impossible that the Third Department could have adopted tech that is more difficult to trace. At the moment, though, it does look as though it wasn’t the work of those units and that there is someone else behind the attacks.