The US government has accused a Chinese cyber attack group of stealing confidential information about more than 100,000 US military personnel from an internal US government database, according to an official statement on Thursday.
The National Security Agency has previously claimed it obtained this information through a cyberattack that infected computers at the Central Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office.
The US officials’ statement on the National Security Council said the breach, which took place on or about December 15, 2017, involved an “external source”, which the agency would not identify.
The statement also did not say who or what was responsible for the intrusion, which the officials said could have included foreign governments.
“The information was obtained through a targeted and highly sophisticated cyberattack by a foreign nation with the purpose of stealing the identity, physical location, and personal information of the US military’s personnel in the United States,” the statement said.
The report did not name the nation involved in the cyberattack.
In a separate statement, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center said that the cyber intrusion occurred “at least six months after the fact” but did not provide further details.
The cyberattack was the latest in a string of cyber attacks on US government systems in recent months.
Last week, the US National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, said the cyber attack was being used by Russia to destabilise the US election.
A few days later, the White House released a statement saying Russian hackers had compromised the personal information and computer data of more than 150,000 Americans.