Business Insider: The latest China hack was classic espionage ‘on a scale we’ve never seen before’

The massive breach of a federal personnel database allegedly at the hands of of Chinese hackers was “classic espionage” on an unprecedented scale, a senior administration official told the New York Times.

“This was classic espionage, just on a scale we’ve never seen before from a traditional adversary,” the official said.

“And it’s not a satisfactory answer to say, ‘We found it and stopped it,’ when we should have seen it coming years ago.”

The Obama administration has been reluctant to place blame on the Chinese government for the hack, but there seems to be little doubt among experts and investigators regarding who carried out the theft.

“Unlike other actors operating from China who conduct industrial espionage, take intellectual property or steal defense technology, this group has primarily targeted information that would enable it to build a database of Americans, with a likely focus on diplomats, intelligence operatives and those with business in China,” Mike Oppenheim, the manager of threat intelligence at the cybersecurity firm FireEye, told the Times…

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