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Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday there is no indication that hackers got anything compromising when they broke into personnel files of U.S. government employees. “At this point in time, it does not appear to have compromised any sensitive material,” Kerry told a news conference in Beijing, where the U.S. and China are holding discussions about security and economic issues.

U.S. officials say the hack attack on computers at the Office of Personnel Management was detected shortly after it began in mid-March. They say the hackers were apparently going after data about federal employees who sought high-level security clearances. The targeted files contain financial data, job history, and — perhaps of most interest to the hackers — disclosure of any foreign contacts. These files are used to conduct background investigations. Government officials say the intrusion appeared to come from somewhere in China, though they are uncertain exactly who launched it. Kerry said that while he raised the general subject of Chinese hacking with his counterparts, he did not raise the specific issue of the OPM attack.


— Pete Williams and Tony Capra