(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Earlier this year a group of Chinese hackers infiltrated U.S. government computers in order to gain information on federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearance.
The New York Times reported the attackers were able to compromise the computer networks through the Office of Personnel Management, though it is still unknown how they were able to do so.
The database included personal information on the employees such as employment records, foreign contacts, financial data, and drug use.
According to a representative from the Office of Personnel Management, the security breach occurred sometime in mid-March, where other federal agencies and state and local governments were alerted about the compromise.
A senior official at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the attack had taken place and stated that they had not “identified any loss of personally identifiable information.”
Government officials noted that the hack was traced back to China, causing more tension between both countries.
Tension remains high between China and the U.S., as the Justice Department filed indictments against five Chinese military officials in May, accusing them of theft of trade secrets and economic espionage due to their cyber-attacks against U.S. companies.
Last month researchers at CrowdStrike uncovered evidence to support that a second Chinese hacking group known as “Putter Panda” had attacked defense, aerospace, and satellite companies in Japan, Europe, and the United States.