Hacked documents: Headache of U.S. officials

United States officials are now worried about the hacked
data may put their spies at risk. The hacked documents by the Chinese hackers has
become a headache for the U.S. officials as they believe  Chinese government could use
the stolen records of millions of federal workers and contractors to piece
together the identities of intelligence officers secretly posted in China over
the years.
However, some officials in the President Obama
administration said that the theft was not as damaging as it might have been
because the Chinese hackers did not gain access to the identities of American
undercover spies.
Similarly, it is still unclear that how Chinese officials were using or might use the stolen files, which include personal information gathered during background checks of government workers.
According to a news report published in NYTimes, it
would be a significant setback for intelligence agencies already concerned that
a recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management is a major windfall
for Chinese espionage efforts.
In the days after the breach of records of millions of
federal workers and contractors became public last month.
The C.I.A. officials said intelligence agencies were taking
steps to try to mitigate the damage however, it is not clear what are they
According to the news report, “The information that was
exfiltrated was valuable in its own right,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff
of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s even
more compromising when it is used in combination with other information they
may hold. It may take years before we’re aware of the full extent of the
“The C.I.A. and other agencies typically post their spies in
American embassies, where the officers pose as diplomats working on political
affairs, agricultural policy or other issues,” the report read.
It is said that even if the identities of the agency
officers were not in the personnel office’s database, Chinese intelligence
operatives could run searches through the database on everyone granted visas to
work at American diplomatic outposts in China.
During an interview, the director of the National Security
Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, “From an intelligence perspective, it gives you
great insight potentially used for counterintelligence purposes,”

 “If I’m interested in
trying to identify U.S. persons who may be in my country — and I am trying to
figure out why they are there: Are they just tourists? Are they there for some
other alternative purpose?  There are
interesting insights from the data you take from O.P.M,” he added.

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