The attack on the Office of Personnel Management's databases earlier this year may have exposed the names of Chinese contacts of American diplomats and other government officials, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Government officials are frequently asked to list their foreign relationships and relatives, raising concern over whether Beijing could use the information for blackmail or retaliation. Intelligence officials also said in classified briefings to members of Congress that the hacking episodes appear to be part of a systematic effort to build databases outlining the inner workings of the U.S. government. Officials have acknowledged that most of the compromised data was not encrypted, but contend the attacks were so sophisticated and concealed that encryption may have had little effect.
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