A massive breach of U.S. federal computer networks disclosed this week is the latest in a flood of attacks by suspected Chinese hackers aimed at grabbing personal data, industrial secrets and weapons plans from government and private computers.
The Obama administration on Thursday disclosed the breach of computer systems at the Office of Personnel Management and said the records of up to 4 million current and former federal employees may have been compromised.
U.S. officials have said on condition of anonymity they believe the hackers are based in China, but Washington has not publicly blamed Beijing at a time when tensions are high over Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.
China has denied involvement.
It was the second computer break-in in less than a year at the OPM, the federal government’s personnel office.