News / USA

New Claims of Hacking as US, China Discuss Cybersecurity

FILE - Part of the building of 'Unit 61398', a secretive Chinese military unit, is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai.
FILE - Part of the building of 'Unit 61398', a secretive Chinese military unit, is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai.
VOA News

China is facing fresh allegations of cyber spying against the U.S. following discussion of the issue during high-level talks in Beijing this week.

Quoting senior U.S. officials late Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Chinese hackers broke into a network that contains U.S. government personnel files. The officials say the incident took place in March and appeared to be an attempt to access the personnel files of tens of thousands of federal employees who have applied for top secret security clearances.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, who have requested not to be named, are quoted in U.S. media reports as confirming an intrusion took place, but they have not found "any loss of personally identifiable information."

At the close of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry downplayed the report.

"At this point in time, it does not appear to have compromised any sensitive material,” said Kerry, adding that the U.S. is still investigating the attack.

Earlier charges

The issue has been a point of contention since the U.S. indicted five Chinese military members in May on charges of cyber espionage against U.S. businesses.

China has denied the allegations and has also accused Washington of cyber spying on Beijing.

Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday that China is against hacking.

"We have consistently stressed that China resolutely opposes Internet hacking. On this issue, China does what it says. Some of the American media and cyber-security firms are making constant efforts to smear China and create the so-called China cyber threat. They have never been able to present sufficient evidence. We are deeply convinced that such reports and commentaries are irresponsible and do not deserve an argument," said Hong.

According to the New York Times report, hackers tried to obtain information from the databases of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that oversees the federal workforce.

The Times says it is not yet clear how far the hackers had penetrated the agency's systems, where applicants for security clearances list personal information such as foreign contacts and past drug use. 

Unnamed officials say authorities detected the threat and blocked them from the OPM's computer network.

Computer intrusions have been a major source of contention between the United States and China. Evidence revealed by Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, shows the NSA ran programs to intercept the conversations of Chinese leaders and the military.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid