The NY Times reported that China claims that Chinese criminals stole the data from the US Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) computer systems not the Chinese government. However the article seemed highly skeptical that the hack was from criminals and said the confession “raised more questions than it answered”:
The theft, which was extraordinarily sophisticated and continued for more than a year before it was detected, involved the security-clearance forms of millions of federal employees, veterans, contractors and others. The forms include information about health, finances and other personal matters for 19.7 million people who underwent government background checks in the past 15 years, as well as 1.8 million other people, including spouses and friends, according to the Obama administration. Five million of the stolen records included fingerprints.
In the meantime the Washington Post reported that OPM is still trying to notify people caught up in the data breach:
The government officially launched a Web site Tuesday [December 1st] to help people check if their personal information was compromised in a massive breach of background-check files — six months after the breach was disclosed.
Critics complain that this is incredibly long to provide notice to the OPM workers.