Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers

This image provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Alix Catherine Tichleman after she was booked into county jail in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Friday, July 4, 2014. Tichleman was arrested on suspicion of murder after injecting heroin into a Google executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz and leaving him to die when he overdosed, according to police and a newspaper. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Police) FX101

This image provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Alix Catherine Tichleman after she was booked into county jail in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Friday, July 4, 2014. Tichleman was arrested on suspicion of murder after injecting heroin into a Google executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz and leaving him to die when he overdosed, according to police and a newspaper. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Police) FX101

WASHINGTON — Chinese hackers in March broke into the computer networks of the U.S. government agency that houses the personal information of all federal employees, according to senior U.S. officials. They appeared to be targeting the files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances.

The hackers accessed some databases of the Office of Personnel Management before federal authorities detected the threat and blocked them from the network, according to the officials. It is not yet clear how far the hackers penetrated the agency's systems, in which applicants for security clearances list their foreign contacts, previous jobs and personal information, like past drug use.

In response to questions, a senior Department of Homeland Security official confirmed the attack but said "at this time" neither the personnel agency nor the Department of Homeland Security had "identified any loss of personally identifiable information."

One senior U.S. official said the attack was traced to China, though it wasn't clear if the hackers were part of the government. The disclosure comes as a delegation of senior U.S. officials, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, are at an annual forum in Beijing to discuss the countries' commercial relationships and their wary efforts to work together on economic and defense issues.

Computer intrusions have been a major source of disagreement between the countries, and the Chinese can point to evidence that the National Security Agency went deep into the computer systems of computer network equipment maker Huawei and ran programs to intercept conversations of Chinese leaders and the military.

U.S. officials say the attack on the Office of Personnel Management was notable because while hackers try to breach U.S. government servers nearly every day, they rarely succeed.

Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers 07/09/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 37-year-old Tampa man was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday for the death of Yasmine L. Tyson on Monday night.

     Christopher Lee Carithers, 37, of Tampa, was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday  for the shooting death of Yasmine L. Tyson in a hotel Monday night. [Tampa Police Department]
  2. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    By DIVYA KUMAR

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

  3. Latest sewage crisis fallout: Higher utility bills in St. Pete

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months the cost of the city's sewage crisis has been measured in terms of environmental damage, legal ramifications and political repercussions.

    Now residents are about to get the bill.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage during the height of the city's sewage crisis. Now the City Council is considering how much to raise utility rates to pay the $326 million bill to fix St. Petersburg's sewage system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets

    Blogs

    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.
  5. Florida's legal losses up to $19 million and counting since 2011

    Blogs

    From Gary Fineout of the Associated Press:

    This is getting expensive.