WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A cyber breach into U.S. government workers’ personnel data is being investigated as a national security matter, meaning it may have originated from a foreign government, a U.S. official told Reuters.
National security investigations are used to probe actions thought to have originated from a state entity or terrorist organization, and the actor in the recent breach is not thought to be a terrorist organization, the official said.
Investigators have been probing China as a possible culprit, U.S. officials said on Thursday, though it was unclear at the time whether a government or citizens acting independently were responsible.
The hackers broke into U.S.government computers, possibly compromising the personal data of 4 million current and former federal employees.
The FBI said it is investigating the attack and aimed to find those responsible.
Asked about the role China may have played, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday there is “no conclusion about the attribution” of the attack.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington said on Thursday that jumping to conclusions was “not responsible, and counterproductive.”
Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler