U.S. democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused China of stealing commercial secrets and huge amounts of government information. The U.S. has blamed China for a series of high-profile cyber-attacks on U.S. government and business entities in recent years.
China has strongly rejected the allegations.
On Saturday, speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said, “Trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America.” she said that she wanted to see China’s peaceful rise, but warned the US to remain vigilant.
Hillary’s language on China appeared to be far stronger than that usually used by President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration.
“They’re also trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America. Stealing commercial secrets … from defence contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage,” she said.
US intelligence Chief James Clapper called China a “leading suspect” after the incident.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials believe as many as 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by the data breach.
The hack against the OPM is not the first time that China has been blamed for a cyber-attack against the US.
An earlier attempt to breach OPM networks was blocked in March 2014, with the US saying China was behind the attack.