The US’s governmental department that manages the records and security clearances of everyone employed by the US government, has been hacked and The Guardian says China has been blamed for the breach.
The hack, which breached the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), means that up to four million government employees’ credentials and personal records may have been compromised. A US law enforcement source told Reuters the hack came from “a foreign entity or government”, and that authorities were looking into a Chinese connection.
The Guardian reports that suspicion has fallen on China because the country has been accused of conducting cyber-espionage against the US in the past. A Pentagon report released in April said Chinese hackers who are associated with that country’s government had targeted US military networks several times in 2014, looking for sensitive information.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington has denied any involvement, saying China is “not responsible” and it was “counter-productive” on the part of the US to jump to conclusions.
The breach has raised the issue of the overall security of US military and governmental networks, and led to recommendations by officials that steps be taken to beef up the US’s overall resistance to such attacks on their systems.
The investigation is ongoing.[Source – The Guardian – Image – CC0 Public Domain]