Yu Pingan, a Chinese national who had just landed at Los Angeles airport, has been arrested and charged with trading in the malware behind the 2014 hack on the US federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which exposed the personal details of millions of US government employees.
The BBC reports that he was arrested last week, but news has only just filtered out.
While no one has officially mentioned the OPM hack, Pingan has been charged with breaching computer networks owned by several US firms, and is said to have worked as part of a gang that, among other things, dealt in the rarely used malware called Sakula - the same malware used in the OPM hack.
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, Pingan has presumably now added his fingerprints to a US government database, albeit different from the one cracked at the OPM in 2014.
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