FBI Arrests Hacker Who Created Virus Linked To Largest Hacking Of U.S. Gov’t Agency


The FBI arrested a Chinese citizen in the U.S. Wednesday who allegedly created malware that is linked to the 2015 hacking of the Office of Personnel Management.

Yu Pingan, a 36-year-old from Shanghai, China, was detained after entering the U.S., according to CNN. He is accused of participation in the cyber breaches of several companies by employing Sakula malware (infected software), the very same kind that many believe was used to complete the massive OPM breach.

Court documents say Yu and co-conspirators would “establish an infrastructure of domain names, IP addresses, accounts with Internet service providers, and web site to facilitate hacks.” By using this infrastructure they would “surreptitiously install or attempt to install files and programs on the computer networks of companies in the United States and elsewhere.”

Also known as GoldSun to authorities, Yu is being charged with conspiring to commit fraud against the U.S.

The OPM breach is believed to be the largest ever for a federal agency. OPM originally claimed that hackers accessed 4.2 million employee records. Later, the FBI estimated it was actually around 18 million. U.S. officials then disclosed that more than 21 million people likely had their sensitive information exposed from the massive hack, more than five times the original reported amount.

Several months after the breach was discovered, the Chinese government said it arrested a handful of hackers ostensibly connected to the OPM infiltration. If Yu was complicit in that attack could become more clear now that he is being indicted for other incidents.

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