Hackers purportedly linked to the Chinese government infiltrated the State Department after hacking a Microsoft employee earlier this summer, pilfering around 60,000 emails from the inboxes of 10 employees, revealing sensitive information including travel itineraries and diplomatic deliberations.
Politico reports that the breach, which has sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill, has intensified concerns regarding the escalating hacking efforts allegedly emanating from China. The compromised information is believed to be highly sensitive, with victims’ travel itineraries and diplomatic deliberations among the most critical data accessed. The incident has not only raised eyebrows regarding international cybersecurity but has also brought the spotlight back on the Indo-Pacific diplomatic efforts, as nine out of the ten compromised email accounts belonged to individuals working on related issues.
The revelations came to light during a Senate staff briefing, where top officials from the State Department, including Chief Information Officer Kelly Fletcher, disclosed the details of the hack. The officials revealed that the hackers had managed to break into the accounts using a token stolen from a Microsoft engineer, impacting a total of 25 entities. These figures align with the public reports released by Microsoft, corroborating the extent and the method of the breach.
This is just the latest revelation of damage caused by the Microsoft hack. As Breitbart News previously reported, the hack occurred when alleged Chinese hackers cracked the account of a Microsoft engineer:
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has disclosed that China-linked hackers compromised the corporate account of one of its engineers, then used this unauthorized access to steal a digital key in order to forge authentication tokens. These tokens granted them access to email accounts on Microsoft’s cloud servers, including those belonging to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Representative Don Bacon, and State Department officials.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was also among those impacted by the breach. Although the State Department has refrained from formally attributing the hack to the Chinese government, Raimondo did not hold back, calling out the Chinese government for the hack of her account during a recent visit to China.