Has China Hacked The US Government’s Email Accounts?
Chinese state-linked hackers have reportedly gained access to the email accounts of about 25 organizations, including two U.S. government agencies.
The breach was detected early, and further breaches were prevented, according to U.S. officials. The affected agencies include the U.S. State and Commerce departments.
The Washington Post reported that the email accounts of Department of State officials and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo were compromised.
However, the scope of the intrusion is said to be narrower than the SolarWinds compromise, which was attributed to Russian cyberspies.
Microsoft, which detected the breach, stated that the hacking organization, known as Storm-0558, used fake digital authentication tokens to access email accounts using the Outlook service. The activity began in May.
The U.S. government has responded strongly to the situation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly warned China that any action targeting the U.S. government, companies, or citizens would be met with appropriate action.
Microsoft alerted the affected organizations about the compromise to its Office 365 system and took immediate action to respond. The hacker group primarily targets organizations in Western Europe.
The Chinese embassy in London denied the accusations, referring to the U.S. government as “the world’s biggest hacking empire and global cyber thief.” China constantly denies involvement in hacking operations.
The breach highlights ongoing concerns about cybersecurity and the vulnerability of organizations to state-sponsored hacking attempts.
The U.S. government and private companies continue to invest in improving their cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information and prevent future breaches.