Report Ties Alleged United Airlines Breach to Attacks on OPM
One report alleges that United Airlines was recently breached by hackers who are also tied to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Anthem breaches.The risk of any breach is that personally identifiable information ends up in the wrong hands, which could lead to identity theft or other crimes. In the case of the recent U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Anthem health insurance breaches, there could well be another risk, that of a nation-state attempting to spy on or gain some advantage over the United. A Bloomberg report published today alleges that United Airlines was recently breached by a group of hackers that are also tied to the OPM and Anthem breaches. United Airlines has not publicly confirmed or denied the report at this time. The OPM breach affects 25.7 million Americans, while the Anthem breach exposed 80 million Americans' information. China has been implicated as the alleged attacker in both incidents. United Airlines has been in the news multiple times in recent months concerning potential security incidents. In early July, United attributed a two-hour failure the airline experienced to a network connectivity issue. United Airlines was also the target of a security researcher that publicly tweeted about in-flight security in April; he claimed he could control the aircraft. There is no indication at this time that either incident is in any way related to the breach alleged by the Bloomberg report.
The report does allege that China-linked hackers are somehow involved as part of a larger effort to collect information on Americans employed by the U.S. government.