Massive Hacking of Government Employee Records

By Lowell Ponte, Special for  USDR

A massive hacking of government employee records, presumably by the People’s Republic of China, went undetected for more than a year, reports ABC News in mid-June  2015. [1]

At first it appeared that 4 million confidential employee records were stolen, but computer security expert David Kennedy, the “White Hat Hacker,” told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that because the hacking bug likely spread for more than a year, it might have collected bio secrets of ALL government  employees.

“Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, charging that the cyberattack on U.S. employee data is far worse than the Obama administration has  acknowledged.” [2]

Security clearance employees give personal, secret and potentially embarrassing information about themselves to the government, so this hacking might make those who know America’s highest secrets into easy targets for Chinese  blackmail.

In their chilling must-read book DON’T BANK ON IT! The Unsafe World of 21st Banking, Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte document examples of the threat of such hidden bugs in America’s power grid, businesses, military and other government computers, computerized home appliances (the emerging “Internet of Things”), and  banks.

“We know that during the Cold War era of spies and counter-spies, it was common for one side to plant “mole” agents in the other’s agencies. These agents could remain dormant for years, even decades, doing nothing until an order activated them. Government agencies, corporations and banks could already have dormant “mole” programs undetected in their computer networks,” they  write. [3]

“Hackers and foreign agents can activate such moles from far away at an opportune, coordinated moment to bring down entire major banks or our banking  system.”

“The six biggest ‘Too Big To Fail’ banks hold, among them, more than half of all American bank accounts. If one of these banks is brought down, the consequences for the U.S. economy could be dire,” Smith, a monetary expert, and Ponte, a former think tank futurist,  warn.

“Banks doubtless contain backup files of their data, but if mole programs are well enough concealed they have probably been duplicated into such backup files as well and might alter or destroy those files,  too.”

“Our government, economy and society have become totally dependent on centralized computer networks to move, record and safeguard our transactions and even our individual and company identities” they  write.

“What will happen when an enemy finds ways to unplug – or, perhaps worse, to pour vast amounts of false information into – our computer  systems?”

The Chinese military has 125,000 full-time “cyber warriors” who every day sit at computer screens hacking into the computers of Western companies, governments and banks. [4] This is rapidly becoming a major form of warfare, and is targeting what could be the Achilles heel of our society and  economy.

In Don’t Bank On It!, this is only one of 20 major threats to your bank accounts that Smith and Ponte explore. The banks we trust to safeguard our money, they warn, might now “be one of the riskiest places to put  it.”

As bank account risk has increased, the interest banks pay account holders has fallen close to – or even below – zero. Having a bank account, they show, has become a high risk, low reward  gamble.

The good news is that Smith and Ponte show readers a variety of smarter ways to secure their savings. You can help protect yourself and your family by taking a few prudent, decisive steps  now.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.