Report: Hackers Stole the “Crown Jewels” of Sensitive US Intelligence Material
Hackers stole the “crown jewels” of sensitive US intelligence and military information. This follows the breach announced earlier this week that hackers had stolen personal information on 4 million active and retired federal employees.
The Politico reported:
Hackers have breached a database containing a wealth of sensitive information from federal employees’ security background checks, the Obama administration said Friday — news that experts say could deal a devastating blow to U.S. intelligence gathering.
The revelations came just a week after officials disclosed a previous massive cyber intrusion into the same federal personnel office, compromising records of more than 4 million current and past employees in a breach that administration officials have privately blamed on Chinese hackers.
The stolen records in the hack disclosed Friday included data on intelligence and military personnel, The Associated Press reported. A senior administration official would not confirm that information but confirmed that the breach occurred at the Office of Personnel Management.
The hackers are believed to have obtained data from a security intake form known as a Standard Form-86, which includes details such as financial trouble, past convictions, drug use and close relationships with citizens of other countries. The form is used for background checks of current, former and prospective federal employees.
“This is crown jewels material … a gold mine for a foreign intelligence service,” said Joel Brenner, a former NSA senior counsel.
The SF-86 breach could have dire consequences for U.S. intelligence gathering, former officials said, noting that it would make it extremely difficult for anyone inside the database to ever work in a covert capacity. For example, that would include someone employed by the State or Agriculture departments who gathers intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency.