The hackers gained access to some of the databases of the Office of Personnel Management before the federal authorities detected the threat and blocked them from the network. It is still not clear that how the hackers were able to hack into the the agency’s network which kept records on applicants for security clearances list their foreign contacts, previous jobs and personal information like past drug use.
The intrusion at the Office of Personnel Management was particularly disturbing because it oversees a system called e-QIP, in which federal employees applying for security clearances enter their most personal information, including financial data. Federal employees who have had security clearances for some time are often required to update their personal information through the website.
A Senior department of Homeland Security official confirmed the hack, and said that Investigations are still going on,
“at this time,” neither the personnel agency nor Homeland Security had “identified any loss of personally identifiable information.” The official said an emergency response team was assigned “to assess and mitigate any risks identified.”
One senior official said that the attack was traced back to china, however it is still not clear if it was planned by the Chinese government.
Cyber Espionage is not new while China can point to the Snowden documents revealing the U.S. spying on Huawei. in may, the Justice Department charged five members of a Chinese military group for carrying economical cyber espionage against US businesses.