The US has been hacked numerous times over the last many years. Isolated as these incidents may have seen, it’s now becoming clear that a unified entity is behind these huge breaches. And China is allegedly the most likely suspect.
More, China may be using this heisted data to build something of its own.
These connected hacks date back more than two years ago, writes Bloomberg. Investigators are now piecing together the evidence from a slew of huge data breaches and believing China to be the likely perpetrator. And China’s reason for doing this, according to security experts speaking with Bloomberg, is to amass a huge database on all Americans.
Bloomberg reports that many cybersecurity companies think that China is building a “Facebook of human intelligence.”
“Some investigators suspect the attacks were part of a sweeping campaign to create a database on Americans that could be used to obtain commercial and government secrets,” writes Bloomberg. In short, this years-long campaign was deliberately orchestrated to scoop up as many files as possible and to create a indexable resource.
So far the hacks that appear to be connected include the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (which involved as many as 21.5 million people’s records) and Anthem Health (which involved as many as 80 million people’s records). Both of these hacks occurred months, if not years, before they were noticed. And they both resulted in the systematic hoovering of personal data.
If all of these hacks indeed were connected, a geopolitical expert told Business Insider that it could take the US “a generation” to clean up this mess.