MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) – Chinese hackers broke into the network of a US government agency where data of dozens of thousands of state workers was stored, New York Times reported, citing top-ranking officials.
Chinese hackers carried out a major attack on the databases of the Office of Personnel Management and obtained data on federal employees, who requested high-level security clearance, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
As soon as the authorities detected the hacking the network was blocked. It is unclear what information and in what amount the hackers gained. A senior US official told the newspaper that US special services had evidence that the attack was initiated in China but it is yet unknown whether the hackers were operating from Beijing.
American cybersecurity company Crowdstrike has already accused Chinese servicemen in attempts to hack the US space and satellite programs. According to Crowdstrike, starting 2007 the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398, based in Shanghai, systematically carried out hacking attacks on US government networks, including systems from Defense Ministry offices. Earlier in May, the US Justice Department charged five Chinese officials with stealing corporate secrets from US defense agencies.
US authorities had also repeatedly accused China and Russia of cyber threats. In November 2011 the US National Counterintelligence Office submitted a report to Congress claiming that hackers from the two countries were actively trying to penetrate servers, where top-secret economic and defense data were stored. Beijing denied all the accusations, saying it was US special services that threatened the cyber security of Chinese networks.