It's now being reported that the same Chinese hackers who recently hit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and health insurance company Anthem, Inc., hacked United Airlines around the same time, in May or June of this year. So far, it appears the hackers obtained passenger lists and flight data.
This breach adds to the wealth of information obtained by the combined hacks. By cross-referencing information from the various industries that have been hacked, the resulting database could compromise the U.S. government, its employees and citizens in countless ways.
There are now at least 10 U.S. companies and organizations the China-based hackers, suspected to have ties to the Chinese government, have infiltrated.
The United Airlines hack is of particular concern because hackers could either maliciously or accidentally affect air transportation for millions of people. In July, an apparently unrelated computer glitch grounded nearly 5,000 United flights.
United Airlines is still in the process of determining exactly what data was compromised in the hack, though thus far there has been no mention of passengers' financial information being exposed.