US says it will raise theft of federal personnel records with China as security talks begin

Associated Press

The United States has begun annual security talks with China and says it will raise directly the breach of a federal government server that resulted in the theft of personnel and security clearance records of millions of employees and contractors.

China has openly denied involvement in the break-in. The Obama administration officials have said they are increasingly confident that China's government, not criminal hackers, were responsible.

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U.S. and Chinese officials began talks Monday on thorny issues including cybersecurity, maritime security, military relations and missile defense. The meetings are a prelude to Cabinet-level discussions on security and economy starting on Tuesday.

A senior State Department official described Monday's talks at the State Department as candid. The official was not authorized to speak on the record to brief reporters about the deliberations.