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United Hackers Linked to China, Massive Breach of U.S. Government & Insurance Companies

Investigators believe the same hackers involved in the huge data breach of U.S. government employee records are also behind the recent cyber-attack at United.

Hackers responsible for a massive attack on U.S. government servers may also be to blame for an incursion at United Airlines. Citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, Bloomberg reports hackers linked to China’s intelligence agencies are believed to be behind the recent cyber-theft of U.S. government employee records and data breaches at insurance providers, as well as computer attacks at United Airlines.

United officials reportedly first noticed attempts to infiltrate its systems in May of this year. Analysts say the just-revealed hack at United puts the travel histories and patterns of passengers at the world’s second largest airline at risk.

Sources say that investigators have so far not found any correlation between the China-linked hacks at United and computer glitches that grounded nearly all of the airline’s flights for several hours on June 2 and again on July 8 of this year.

The investigation is reportedly focusing on the theory that the recent string of cyber-incursions is part of an effort by China to compile intelligence dossiers on thousands of federal workers including military personnel. The hack at United is believed to be part of synchronized cyber-attacks at as many as ten U.S. companies and government agencies.

United is among the largest travel providers for the U.S. government. Coupled with medical data stolen from insurers and employee information gleaned from hacks at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, passenger information stolen from the airline could provide China’s intelligence service with more than just details on who US government employees are, but also where they have been and where they are going.

[Photo: iStock]

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