Earlier this year, Chinese hackers broke into US government computer networks in order to gain access to the personal information of thousands of employees with top-secret security clearances.
The New York Times reports that the hackers gained access to databases of the Office of Personnel Management in March. Federal authorities identified the intrusion and blocked their access — but it remains unclear how deeply the hackers penetrated and how much information they were privy to.
Sources have told the Times that the attack was traced to China, but it’s unclear if the perpetrators were connected with the government or not. Either way, it’s the latest in a long line of hacks against the U.S. mastermind from China.
The records held in the database contain detailed information about federal employees who apply for security clearance — from foreign contacts and previous jobs, to personal information like drug use and relationship history. Not the kind of data you want in the wrong hands. [NYT]