US claims 12 Chinese groups are behind cyber attacks
US claims 12 Chinese groups are behind cyber attacks

A Chinese state security official, arrested this year on allegations of spying for Washington, is suspected to have compromised some of China's US agents.

According to Reuters, the Ministry of State Security arrested one of its own officials for passing information to American agents of the CIA, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

They said that the official was an aide to a vice minister, and was taken into custody sometime between January and March of this year after the ministry became ‘alarmed' over repeated incidents of Chinese agents being compromised in the United States last year.

The ministry's own investigations found the aide had been working for the CIA for years, divulging information about China's overseas spy network in the nation's worst espionage scandal for two decades. The aide's identity has still not been revealed, but the sources said he worked for vice minister Lu Zhongwei.

The sources declined to elaborate on the information he is alleged to have passed to the CIA or how it compromised China's agents, but said it involved ‘political, economic and strategic intelligence'.

Chinese officials in Beijing found that Lu had failed to properly screen the aide before hiring him, but Lu was spared formal punishment and is expected to retire within the next few years.

China's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the security breach.