The cyberattack on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has been the most embarrassing and damaging event in the administration of President Donald Trump, as well as the worst-ever breach of government computers.
But it could also have the unintended consequence of allowing hackers to access data stored on government computers in the event of a cyberattack, according to a cybersecurity expert.
The attack came from an organization called APT28, which is believed to have been based in Russia and has links to a far-right political group called The Oath Keepers.
The group has a history of hacking the political and social media accounts of prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama.
The hacker group has also been linked to a previous hack of the Democratic National Committee, which was believed to be a prelude to the presidential election.
In August 2016, a Russian hacker called “LulzSec” claimed responsibility for a string of hacks against Democratic organizations in the months leading up to the election.
LulzSec claimed responsibility in a video posted to Twitter, but the organization later claimed responsibility on the Internet.
The hackers also targeted the social media account of the US Department of Agriculture, which had been hacked earlier in the year.
The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the US Navy all reported to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence that they were affected by the hack.
The cyberattacks have also exposed the vulnerabilities of the Office’s systems, which have had to be patched in order to protect government data.
But the Office has said it has not been breached, and it has blamed the breach on a cybercriminal group called APTs, or Advanced Persistent Threats.
A few weeks after the attack on OPM, the hackers behind the breach of the Navy, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and US Agency in charge of border security were apprehended in Russia.
They were charged with cybercrimes and released on bail.
APTs has also claimed responsibility online for a breach of US companies including the health insurer Anthem, which exposed patient information.
On Wednesday, a group called Anonymous claimed responsibility via Twitter for the breach, and also accused the US government of being “collaborators” in the hack, which they described as the largest ever hack of a government institution.
The statement also accused Russia of providing the group with tools to compromise OPM’s systems.
The APTs claimed responsibility has also led to a series of bizarre and conspiratorial tweets from the group.
Anonymous has called for the “immediate arrest of the culprits” behind the attack.
But OPM and the Office say they believe the hackers were working in a cooperative fashion.
“We believe they have been working with each other for a long time,” a spokesperson told The Associated Press.
The Office of Management and Budget did not immediately respond to a request for comment.