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    Finding Hackers Behind US Government OPM Breach Difficult

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    National Intelligence Director James Clapper explained that law enforcement IT experts have "differing degrees of confidence" in their assessment of who was responsible for the OPM hack.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The process of finding the perpetrators who hacked into the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) continues to be fraught with challenges, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

    "Speaking of the OPM breaches, let me say a couple words about attribution: it is not a simple process and involves at least three related, but distinct determinations: the geographic point of origin, the identity of the actual perpetrator doing the keystrokes, and the responsibility for directing the act," Clapper said.

    In April, the US government acknowledged that a massive cyberattack on OPM networks has compromised the personal information of more than 21 million former and current federal employees. Moreover, the fingerprints data of some 5.6 million people has also been stolen.

    Clapper explained law enforcement IT experts have "differing degrees of confidence" in their assessment of who was responsible for the OPM hack in the three areas he mentioned.

    He also noted his expectation of more cyber operations in the future that will seek to change or manipulate electronic information to compromise individuals’ identity.

    "As illustrated so dramatically with the OPM breaches, counterintelligence risks are inherent," he said.

    Once an individual’s personal information has been hacked, Clapper cautioned, their family members, coworkers and neighbors also become at the risk.

    Some US officials have stated Chinese hackers were behind the security breach, according to media reports, but China has denied involvement in the incident.

    Related:

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    Fingerprints of 5.6Mln US Federal Employees Stolen in Data Theft
    Russia Blamed for Pentagon Hack, Once Again, Without Evidence
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    US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), James Clapper, United States
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