State Department Emails Compromised by Chinese Hackers, 60,000 Accounts Breached

Chinese hackers have infiltrated the email system of the U.S. State Department, gaining access to 60,000 emails from ten different accounts. This bold act of cyber espionage was confirmed by a staffer for GOP Senator Eric Schmitt, who attended a private briefing on Capitol Hill. The targeted victims were working on sensitive matters related to Europe, East Asia, and the Pacific, and the stolen data includes diplomatic deliberations and travel itineraries. The breach poses a potential threat to national security.

The timing of these hacks is concerning as they took place just before Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled trip to China.

According to The New York Times, the Commerce Department was also targeted by these hackers, who are believed to have affiliations with China’s military or spy services. However, the Biden administration has not officially accused the Chinese communist regime of orchestrating the attacks.

The hackers, identified as Storm-0558, initially gained access to a Microsoft engineer’s corporate account to infiltrate a debugging environment. This allowed them to sign security tokens and gain access to the accounts.

But Storm-0558 is not the only Beijing-backed hacker group conducting espionage against the United States. Another state-supported group called Volt Typhoon has been targeting critical infrastructure in Guam and other American regions, affecting sectors such as communications, manufacturing, transportation, government, and maritime.

Despite the ongoing cyber threats, Microsoft continues to expand its presence in China, despite acknowledging that state-supported Chinese actors are using its products to steal foreign intellectual property and penetrate vital infrastructure. Microsoft sells over 70 products in China and employs thousands of software engineers there.

China’s aggression against the U.S. has been escalating in recent years. From covering up the spread of COVID-19 to conducting illegal police operations in the United States, China’s actions have put America in a vulnerable position. This latest act of cyber espionage is yet another example of China’s blatant disregard for the U.S.

Senators from both parties have expressed their outrage over this incident. Senator Schmitt emphasized the importance of not allowing any foreign nation easy access to sensitive government information. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia called the incident alarming and highlighted the need to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable and take action to protect American national security.

In conclusion, while there may have been improvements in the State Department’s cyber defenses since Hillary Clinton’s tenure, it is evident that they are still far from impenetrable. The American people deserve answers and a government that can effectively safeguard their sensitive information from foreign adversaries.

This article appeared in Watch Dog News and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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