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A Cyber-Attack Targeting Millions of Fed Personnel - an Act of War?

Cyber hackers described as a "foreign entity or government" have attacked the Office of Personnel Management(OPM) of the United States(US) Federal government. The information breach, according to reports, compromised the employee records and security clearances of at least four million current and former Fed workers.

This most recent attack in April of this year of US cyber systems, represents one of the largest breaches of information ever on government workers, Reuters reported. The news service also cited a law enforcement source as saying that a "foreign entity of government" was behind the attack.

Therefore, given the gravity of the scale of the attack and the persons targeted, the US administration should now consider whether or not such an attack represents an act of war by a "foreign entity or government". Such an attack leaves millions of present and former Fed workers vulnerable to a "foreign entity or government" because the hack amounts to an attack upon the persons of those victimized. Hence, the cyber attack represents a direct threat and danger to millions of Americans and the Federal Government must act decisively and respond in kind to the breach.

Some cyber investigators have named China as the perpetrator of this massive breach that they have likened to earlier cyber thefts of health care records from the second largest US insurer, Anthem, Inc and from Premera Blue Cross, a health care service provider.

The US has filed criminal charges against Chinese nationals for cyber crimes relating to other matters. Yet, with the knowledge of a Chinese "on line army" accused of targeting computer systems of foreign governments, the Chinese government has described as "irresponsible" accusations that it had a hand in the US cyber attack.

But China's response to these allegations, in my opinion, epitomizes the arrogance China has demonstrated in recent years because of its western-facilitated acquired wealth. China's response to queries from Washington also appears to scold the seat of the free-world as a teacher to a pupil. 

At a Press briefing in Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, appear condescending of the US when he responded that Washington should be "less suspicious and stop making any unverified allegations, but show more trust and participate more in cooperation." 

Yet, the Chinese spokesman admitted: "We know that hacker attacks are conducted anonymously, across nations, and that it is hard to track the source..." And he chided the US: "It's irresponsible and unscientific to make conjectural, trumped-up allegations without deep investigation."

But the Chinese spokesman might not be aware that, perhaps, western technology has already unveiled the anonymity of most hackers.

According to the Associated Press(AP), US Senator Susan Collins categorized the cyber attack as amounting to a foreign power seeking information on US employees who have security clearances for access to sensitive information. 

Thus, a serious attack on the security of  United States personnel has been made and the Federal Government must respond in kind and not just by words alone anymore.