WASHINGTON: The cyberattack on the federal Office of Personnel Management was orchestrated by someone working directly for a foreign government or with a foreign state, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday.
“There are only two possibilities here with an attack this sophisticated,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the panel. “Either a state actor or a group of private hackers who often work in concert with the state.”
But Schiff, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” cautioned that the U.S. is not quite ready to say affirmatively who was to blame for one of the worst breaches of federal workers’ personal information.
The data breached in the OPM attack included Social Security information and other personal data belonging to about 4 million federal employees in the U.S. The information also included security clearances for federal employees.
Sources have said the information most likely was acquired to help the perpetrators identify which federal employees might be vulnerable and willing to spy against the United States.
“It’s very valuable information,” Schiff said of the stolen material. “And while we’re not allowed to comment on the attribution yet, we’ve gotten very good at attribution.”
On CNN on Saturday, Schiff strongly suggested that China, as most law enforcement sources have said, or Russia was behind the breach.