CIA may pull spies from China after OPM hacks

After data on 21.5 million former and current OPM workers was exposed, US officials are concerned that hackers can use the information to determine Chinese spy identities.

In what could be the first ripple in the intelligence community after a pair of hacks at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) exposed information on 21.5 million current and former government employees, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is considering removing its spies from China, the New York Times reported Friday.

Officials fear that by applying big data analytics to the information amassed from the breaches as well as other sources, China could put enough pieces together to identify the spies.

Any organisation in possession of that information could gain “great insight potentially used for counterintelligence purposes,” Admiral Michael S. Rogers, director, National Security Agency, told the Times at the Aspen Security Summit last week. “If I'm interested in trying to identify US persons who may be in my country…there are interesting insights from the data you take from OPM.”

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