Biden commerce secretary's emails hacked by Chinese cyberspies

The foreign hackers were able to access the inboxes of the accounts in question for over a month.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that email accounts belonging to Commerce and State Department employees, including that of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, were breached by Chinese cyberspies.

The foreign hackers were able to access the inboxes of the accounts in question for over a month before the problem was detected and dealt with, according to officials. 

"US government safeguards identified an intrusion in Microsoft's cloud security, which affected unclassified systems," National Security Council spokesman Adam Hodges told the Washington Post

A source from the Federal Bureau of Investigation corroborated Hodges' claim, reiterating that no classified information had been compromised as a result of the cyber attack.

According to Microsoft, the "China-based threat actor," which referred to itself as Storm-0558, "gained access to email accounts affecting approximately 25 organizations including government agencies as well as related consumer accounts of individuals likely associated with these organizations" beginning on May 15. 

On June 16, following reports of "anomalous mail activity," the tech giant launched an investigation and eventually detected the issue. The hackers had allegedly gained access to the accounts by forging authentication tokens using an acquired Microsoft account consumer signing key. 

Microsoft explained in a statement that it had taken a number of proactive steps to protect the accounts of those involved, and that it would continue to monitor Storm-0558.

Federal agencies are also investigating the incident, with "an area of urgent focus" being how the consumer signing keys were obtained from Microsoft.

Raimondo was the only high-ranking official to have an account compromised, and sources told the Post she has been a "particularly important target" of Beijing as the Chinese Communist Party attempts to "understand her personal views."

As the head of the Department of Commerce, Raimondo has overseen a number of export controls on Chinese goods, as well as restrictions on Chinese investment in new technologies, both of which are tactics that have been utilized by the Biden administration to remain competitive.
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