House Republicans investigate email breaches at federal agencies
"We are also concerned that these attacks on federal agencies, which include at least the Department of Commerce and the Department of State, reflect a new level of skill and sophistication from China’s hackers," they wrote.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., along with Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., has opened an investigation into recent cyber espionage campaigns targeting the State and Commerce Departments.
The trio of lawmakers on Wednesday wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, requesting a briefing on the breaches, which they attribute to Chinese hackers.
"We are also concerned that these attacks on federal agencies, which include at least the Department of Commerce and the Department of State, reflect a new level of skill and sophistication from China’s hackers," they wrote to both. "The incident even raises the possibility that Chinese hackers may be able to access high-level computer networks and remain undetected for months if not years."
"The breaches appear to have occurred due to a 'flaw in a Microsoft cloud-computing environment,'" they continued. "In a post about the incident, Microsoft refers to the responsible entity as Storm-0558, a China-based threat actor that 'primarily targets government agencies in Western Europe and focuses on espionage, data theft, and credential access.' The 'apparent espionage campaign infiltrated victims' email beginning on May 15 and operated in stealth for more than a month, until June 16, when Microsoft began its investigation.'"
The letter to Raimondo explicitly noted that her email account "was among those accessed by hackers."
The lawmakers requested that both Blinken and Raimondo schedule briefings for them about the breach by Aug. 9.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.