Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday December 04 2015, @08:37PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the under-the-bus dept.

China has arrested hackers that it claims were connected to the breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the exposure of the records of millions of current and former federal employees. China's official Xinhua news agency disclaimed Chinese responsibility for the attack again on Wednesday.

The Washington Post previously reported that China arrested hackers in October for targeting U.S. firms to steal commercial secrets. This was portrayed as a conciliatory gesture amid joint cybersecurity discussions and ahead of a state visit to the U.S. by President Xi Jinping. Instead of corporate espionage, those yet-to-be-identified hackers have now been blamed for the OPM breach:

[More after the break.]

The Chinese government recently arrested a handful of hackers it says were connected to the breach of Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) database this year, a mammoth break-in that exposed the records of more than 22 million current and former federal employees.

The arrests took place shortly before a state visit in September by President Xi Jinping, and U.S. officials say they appear to have been carried out in an effort to lessen tensions with Washington. The identities of the suspects — and whether they have any connection to the Chinese government — remain unclear.

[...] If the individuals detained were indeed the hackers, the arrests would mark the first measure of accountability for what has been characterized as one of the most devastating breaches of U.S. government data in history. But officials said it has been difficult to confirm whether the people rounded up were connected to the OPM breach. "We don't know that if the arrests the Chinese purported to have made are the guilty parties," said one U.S. official who — like others interviewed — spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity. "There is a history [in China] of people being arrested for things they didn't do or other 'crimes against the state.'"

Since the intrusions were disclosed in June, U.S. government officials have said they suspected the involvement of the Chinese government, in particular the civilian Ministry of State Security (MSS). Some officials say the hackers may have been MSS contractors, possibly acting on their own but aware the agency would be interested in the data.

Chinese officials have characterized the arrests as a criminal matter, rather than state-sponsored, and told their American counterparts that the individuals will be prosecuted, said U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

[...] The Washington Post previously reported that the arrests were linked to thefts of data from U.S. companies to be sold or passed to Chinese state-run firms. Rather, they were linked to the OPM breach.


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @09:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @09:13PM (#271950)

    To the outside world: "We have arrested some folks and they have confessed to doing the deed. Ask no further questions and trust in us to deal with the matter."
    Inside China: "listen, pal... I know we just picked you of the streets and you have no clue what is going on whatsoever. Why don't you just confess you did it. Just sign here." (http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cia-fbi-kgb.jpg [weknowmemes.com])

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by ikanreed on Friday December 04 2015, @09:25PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday December 04 2015, @09:25PM (#271956) Journal

      They didn't pick them up off the street. They picked them up off saying something vaguely pro-democracy on WeChat.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:21PM (#271969)

      Please down vote the parent. The USA provided a list of people to arrest and the Chinese agreed to follow that list. Or maybe it was only a typo and the parent instead meant "Inside USA: "listen, pal...""

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:55AM (#272098)

      "I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to find that hacking is going on in here!"

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:14PM (#271965)

    The US provided a list of hackers and China is tentatively agreeing to arrest them, and have arrested some. I know we like to spin things around here, and China's word on the topic is not exactly trusted, however how about we applaud any cooperation between the two governments? Unless you like the idea of WWIII you silly bastards.

    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday December 04 2015, @10:28PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Friday December 04 2015, @10:28PM (#271972)

      Silly person, WWIII will be between corporations, not governments, or at least not what are considered governments right now.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:28PM (#271973)

      Which WWIII are you referring to? WWIII-A Russia vs NATO, WWWIII-B US vs China, WWIII-C Muslims vs the World?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:31PM (#271975)

      From an objective standpoint, another world war would be good for the long-term prospects of our species. Many a leap forward in human history were a direct result of a culled population or war. From the renaissance to the space race, it is clear that our species is not unique in that we require some cyclical strife to survive, not unlike trees that need forest fire to seed or ungulate herds that will kill themselves if allowed to overpopulate.

      Of course nobody wants those things to happen in their own lifetime, but there really is never a good time for hardship.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday December 04 2015, @11:52PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @11:52PM (#271999)

        The problem is we also make a leap forward in weapons technology. World War 2 produced a wide variety of mass-killing weapons.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @12:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @12:07AM (#272009)

        Hey guys let's have a WW3 with no nukes and no groin shots kthxbai

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:47AM (#272061)
        Only trouble is world war with nuclear weapons can result in the complete annihilation of the human species. I don't see how total annihilation would be good for our species' long term prospects!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:42AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:42AM (#272093)

          Doing nothing, overpopulating and global climate change is guaranteed to do the same. There might come a choice. Risk war, risk annihilation and salvation, or just let annihilation happen naturally.