U.S. still not sure how much Chinese hackers took from federal personnel records

Asked if the breach exposed security-clearance forms, a spokesman for the OPM said there was “no evidence to suggest that information other than what is normally found in a personnel file has been exposed.”

He said information for “background investigations and clearances is stored separately from personnel files and not on the same network affected by this intrusion.” But he did say a wide range of personal information “may have been compromised.” That could include names, Social Security numbers, dates and places of birth, job assignments, training files, performance ratings, and current and former addresses.

Such information can be used to facilitate identity theft and fraud. But if, as the U.S. suspects, Chinese hackers are behind the intrusion, the goal may be more intelligence-gathering on U.S. officials than money scams.

Jon Adler, head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, called the agency’s answers “unacceptable.”