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U.S. Fears Data Stolen by Chinese Hacker Could Identify Spies - The New York Times
By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID E. SANGER JULY 24, 2015

the hackers — who government officials are now reluctant to say publicly were working for the Chinese government — could still use the vast trove of information to identify American spies by a process of elimination. By combining the stolen data with information they have gathered over time, they said, the hackers can use “big data analytics” to draw conclusions about the identities of operatives....The C.I.A. and other agencies typically post their spies in American embassies, where the officers pose as diplomats working on political affairs, agricultural policy or other issues. The American Embassy in Beijing has long housed one of the largest C.I.A. stations in the world, with intelligence officers gathering information on China’s political maneuvering, economic development and military modernization.

Several current and former officials said that even if the identities of the agency officers were not in the personnel office’s database, Chinese intelligence operatives could run searches through the database on everyone granted visas to work at American diplomatic outposts in China. If any of the names are not found in the stolen files, those individuals could be suspected as spies by a process of elimination.
Chinese  data_breaches  China  hacks  CIA  espionage  security_&_intelligence  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  massive_data_sets  David_Sanger 
july 2015 by jerryking
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