China Hacking Efforts Expand to U.S. Government Personnel
A new report claims that hackers were able to infiltrate government employee records.Hackers from China are no strangers to American IT infrastructure. According to a New York Times report published on July 9, Chinese hackers were able to infiltrate the Office of Personnel Management, which is the U.S. government agency that houses information on federal government employees. According to the report, the attack occurred in March of this year and was subsequently detected and blocked by federal authorities. It is not clear how long the Chinese hackers had access, or how much information they might have obtained. While the report cites China as the source of the attack, it is not clear if the attack is directly connected to or sponsored by the government of China. The New York Times itself is no stranger to hackers from China. Back in January 2013, Chinese hackers infiltrated the networks of the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. There are also multiple known and attributed attacks from China that were sponsored and performed by members of the Chinese Army. In February 2013, security firm Mandiant first disclosed the activities of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, which was attacking the United States.
The U.S government itself is well aware of attacks from China that are sponsored by the PLA and has aimed to take legal action against those responsible. On May 19, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced an indictment naming Chinese military officers attached to the Chinese PLA Unit 61398 as being allegedly responsible for attacking U.S. companies.