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Chinese hackers break into US federal government employee database

11/07/2014 by

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Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks housing the personal information of all federal US government employees in March in an apparent attempt to target people who had applied for top-secret security clearances.

News of the breach, first reported by The New York Times, came as US secretary of state John Kerry is visiting Beijing for an annual summit on Sino-American relations. Kerry’s visit was already happening at a time of tense relations between China and the US over cyber security. Documents obtained by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the US has targeted China’s political leaders, military and Huawei, a major maker of computer network equipment.

Speaking at a news conference in Beijing Thursday, Kerry said of the breach, “At this point in time, it does not appear to have compromised any sensitive material.” But he also condemned China’s cyber spying in unusually harsh language, saying it “harmed our business and threatened our nation’s competitiveness.”

Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed that they were aware of an attempt to hack into the Office of Personnel Management, which houses the personnel files of federal employees, including those applying for top-security clearance.

This article has been extracted from http://www.theguardian.com, please click on this link to read the article in full http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/10/china-hackers-us-government-employee-database

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