Despite strong antidote to Chinese hacking attempts last year over North Korean hackers taking down Sony and other major websites, hackers again attacked the US Office of Personnel Management compromising information on government workers, government employee records and security clearances.
The role of Chinese hackers is serious suspected by the US law enforcement sources who told Reuters that a “foreign entity or government” was behind it, while the Chinese Embassy spokesman in Washington DC swiftly rejected the report as irresponsible and counterproductive.
The FBI, which is probing the links, did not reveal the damage so far. The bid to hack the systems was found in April and the Department of Homeland Security said in May about 4 million workers’ data has been compromised, without giving details.
Last year too, the OPM’s IT systems were hacked following similar attack on several government agencies including the State Department, the U.S. Postal Service and the White House. The attack is apprently aimed at tracking the files on government employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile, FBI said it is working with other partners to investigate the matter. “We take all potential threats to public and private sector systems seriously, and will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace, said FBI in a statement.
The attack came despite US President Barack Obama’s response to impose sanctions on non-S entities involved in economic espionage in April, especially 5 Chinese military officers, besides a host of measures against the North Korean cyber cttackers. Currently, US suspects cyber attacks from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.