The Chinese government has arrested hackers accused of breaking into the Office of Personnel Management databases,
According to The Washington Post, the Chinese government has arrested the hacking crew that breached the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
“The Chinese government recently arrested a handful of hackers it says were connected to the breach of Office of Personnel Management’s database earlier this year, a mammoth break-in that exposed the records of more than 22 million current and former federal employees.” states The Washington Post. “The arrests took place shortly before a state visit in late September by President Xi Jinping, and U.S. officials say they appear to have been carried out in an effort to lessen tensions with Washington.”
The authorities arrested the suspects prior to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit in the US in September. China and US reached an agreement during Xi’s state visit that established a mutual commitment to suspend all activities of cyber espionage and hacking.
There is no news regarding the identities of the suspects, neither the connection with the Chinese government.
The Chinese Government has always denied any involvement with the OPM hack that exposed the personal data of 21.5 million federal employees and others sensitive information.
The US Intelligence believes that the OPM hack is the result of a cyber espionage operation conducted by a nation-state actor.
“If the individuals detained were indeed the hackers, the arrests would mark the first measure of accountability for what has been characterized as one of the most devastating breaches of U.S. government data in history.” continues the Post.
“We don’t know that if the arrests the Chinese purported to have made are the guilty parties,” said one U.S. official, who like others interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity. “There is a history [in China] of people being arrested for things they didn’t do or other ‘crimes against the state.’ “
The Obama administration announced that it was defining economic sanctions against China as a response to continuous hacking campaigns against government entities and private firms.
Is it really the beginning of an effective collaboration?
“I think that China has realized that this is an issue that really matters to the United States, and that if they’re going to continue to manage the relationship with us in a positive way, they had to figure out some way to address our concerns,” an anonymous U.S. official told the Washington Post.
(Security Affairs – OPM, hacking)