CNN reports that the U.S. Postal Service has become the latest victim of hacking, resulting in the theft of data, including the personal information, of hundreds of thousands of its current and former employees.
The breach also affects 2.9 million Postal Service customers, with potentially-compromised information including their “names, home addresses, phone numbers and emails.”
The FBI is currently investigating who’s behind the attack, but early evidence points East. And this is where things get interesting.
From The Washington Post:
“Chinese government hackers are suspected of breaching the computer networks of the United States Postal Service, compromising the data of more than 800,000 employees — including the postmaster general’s.
The intrusion was discovered in mid-September, said officials, who declined to comment on who was thought to be responsible. The FBI is leading the investigation into the hack.”
For some people on Twitter, the revelation of this breach is merely stating the obvious: China may not be worth trusting.
— A. Carlos (@aldigital) November 10, 2014
What Postal Service officials are confirming right now is that “no customer credit card information from post offices or online purchases at usps.com was breached.”
So if hackers—especially foreign ones—went through all this work and didn’t do this to ruin peoples’ credit scores, what could be their reason for doing this?
According to The Washington Post, the data they’re mining for might be useful in their recruitment operations of people privy to how government agencies work. The more they know about government employees, the better their chances of influencing them to cooperate on something in the future.
Coincidentally, China made headlines today for announcing that they’re building a computer network that’s “impenetrable to hackers.”
It just so happens that President Obama is also in Beijing today to talk future economic relations with China.
Now, he may have himself a new topic of conversation.