• US stock market daily report (June 05, 2015, Friday)

    In a statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday, a "foreign entity or government" was believed to be behind a cyber attack on U.S. government computers. Authorities are looking into a possible connection from China that may be involved in the cyber attack.

    Per reports from U.S. law enforcement, information hacked from high-tech systems at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Interior Department will possibly compromise the personal data of 4 million current and former federal employees. The OPM handles employee records, security clearances and more than 90% of federal background investigations.

    DHS intrusion detection system 'EINSTEIN'screens federal Internet traffic to identify potential cyber threats. EINSTEIN identified the hack on the systems of the OPM and the Interior Department's data center, which is shared by other federal agencies. It remains unknown as to why EINSTEIN failed to detect the breach until after so many records had been copied and removed.

    Federal agencies are rushing to install a two-factor authentication system with smart cards. The high-tech security system is designed to make it more difficult for intruders to access networks however, implementing the technology is time consuming.

    Statement from DHS said, "DHS is continuing to monitor federal networks for any suspicious activity and is working aggressively with the affected agencies to conduct investigative analysis to assess the extent of this alleged intrusion."

    DHS is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance for 18 months to individuals potentially affected. The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents workers in 31 federal agencies said it is encouraging members to sign up for the monitoring as soon as possible.

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Republican from North Carolina said the government must overhaul its cybersecurity defenses. "Our response to these attacks can no longer simply be notifying people after their personal information has been stolen. We must start to prevent these breaches in the first place," Burr said.

    DHS statement said, "The FBI is conducting an investigation to identify how and why this occurred."

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman for the Chinese Embassy Zhu Haiquan said, "Cyberattacks conducted across countries are hard to track and therefore the source of attacks is difficult to identify." Haiquan added that hacking can "only be addressed by international cooperation based on mutual trust and mutual respect." He said such accusations had been frequent of late and were irresponsible since hacking attacks were often cross-border and hard to trace.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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