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China Upset Over Cyber Hacking Allegations

Image via Flickr by doug.siefken

At the beginning of February 2015, health insurer Anthem Inc. faced a massive cyberattack where there was a breach in patient records. Hackers got away with patient names, social security numbers, and health information of millions of customers. The Wall Street Journal went on to report that the cyberattacks could possibly be linked to China because the tools and techniques used in the cyberattack were similar to the ones used in a previous cyberattack that was linked to China. China was not happy about the allegations.

Hong Lei, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, the allegations were “groundless.” He went on to say it’s difficult to trace the origins of cyberattacks. “It obviously makes no sense to rush to identify the source of the attacks in such a haste.” Just because China was linked to similar cyberattacks in the past does not mean that they should be prime candidates in the investigation.

Tension between China and the U.S. has been on the rise lately, and this new accusation does not help matters. In the future, the U.S. should be careful about making allegations before any formal proof exists. This is essential in keeping trade free flowing between the countries. China is also a major places where the U.S. outsources jobs, and hurting relations could hurt the U.S. economy in logistics and trade.

Anthem’s cyberattack was disclosed on February 4, 2015. The FBI is investigating the attack and has given Anthem until March 4, 2015 to provide detailed information about their security practices and privacy policies. It’s estimated that some 80 million customers and employee information was stolen. All involved parties are being asked to monitor their credit history. Additionally, Anthem told customers to be wary of any emails coming from hackers disguised as Anthem representatives.


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