THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: China’s hackers got what they came for.
The Chinese hackers who are believed to have cracked into the federal government’s networks might not be back for a while.
They got what they came for.
“I think they have 95 percent of what they want from both U.S. industry and government,” said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at security research firm Trend Micro.
While China’s aggressive hacking operations are certain to continue, experts say the mammoth data breach at the Office of Personnel Management is a watershed event that will allow Beijing to move from broad reconnaissance to narrowly tailored snooping.
Having already obtained private information on up to 14 million federal employees — including Social Security numbers, arrest and financial records, and details on mental illness and drug and alcohol use — China’s hacking teams can now retreat to the shadows.
“For this point in time we won’t see another massive attack like this. Instead, it will be more targeted ones,” said Tony Cole, global government chief technical officer for security firm FireEye, which has conducted extensive research on Chinese cyber campaigns.
U.S. officials are still trying to figure out the full scope of the data breach, which is believed to have affected security clearance information for the military and spy agencies.
No wonder they’d rather talk about flags.