China-based hackers are suspected of breaking into the computer networks
of the U.S. government personnel office and stealing identifying
information of at least 4 million federal workers, American officials
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that data
from the Office of Personnel Management and the Interior Department had
4 million current and former federal employees may have had their personal information hacked.
background checks, warned it was urging potential victims to monitor
their financial statements and obtain new credit reports.
trace the breach to the Chinese government. Hackers working for the
Chinese military are believed to be compiling a massive database of
A U.S. official, who declined to be named because he was not
authorized to publicly discuss the data breach, said it could
potentially affect every federal agency. One key question is whether
intelligence agency employee information was stolen. Former government
employees are affected as well.
“This is an attack against the nation,” said Ken Ammon, chief
strategy officer of Xceedium, who said the attack fit the pattern of
those carried out by nation states for the purpose of espionage. The
information stolen could be used to impersonate or blackmail federal
employees with access to sensitive information, he said.
public and private sector systems seriously, and will continue to
investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace,”
the FBI said in a statement.
“personally identifiable information” had been breached, though didn’t
name who might be responsible.