A CHINESE NATIONAL who had just landed in Los Angeles was swiftly arrested by the FBI and charged with trading in the malware behind the government employee exposing hack on the US federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The OPM hack happened in 2014, which is a long time ago. It is possible that Pingan, who was known by the online pseudonym GoldSun, was going to Disneyland or something, we don't know. He's not going to Disneyland now and certainly won't enjoy what's almost certainly coming to him.
The BBC reports that he was arrested last week. No one has officially mentioned the OPM hack, but Pingan has been charged with breaching computer networks owned by several US firms. He is said to have worked as part of a gang that, among other things, dealt in the rarely used malware called Sakula.
It continues: "Defendant Yu and co-conspirators in the PRC would acquire and use malicious software tools, some of which were rare variants previously unidentified by the FBI and information security community, including a malicious software tool known as Sakula."
Sakula was used in the OPM attack, which explains the leap that everyone is making, and was part of a hack that exposed the fingerprint records of at least 5.6 million federal employees. Back then the OPM said that it would take a wait-and-see approach on how to react, and would wait until misuse of the fingerprints was identified before going all out.
"We will review the potential ways adversaries could misuse fingerprint data now and in the future," the agency said. "If, in the future, new means are developed to misuse the fingerprint data, the government will provide additional information to individuals whose fingerprints may have been stolen in this breach."
Meanwhile, we presume that Pingan has since donated his digits to the database, which makes for some nice irony. µ
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