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Congressman Don Bacon says Chinese state spies hacked his emails

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Rep. Don Bacon (Neb.) said that Chinese spies hacked his personal and campaign emails through a vulnerability in Microsoft software between May and June 2023.

The Republican from Nebraska wrote on his Twitter page that the Chinese Communist Party hacked into his "personal and campaign emails from May 15th to June 16th of this year. The CCP hackers utilized a vulnerability in the Microsoft software, and this was not due to 'user error.'"

"There were other victims in this cyber operation. The Communist government in China are not our friends and are very active in conducting cyber espionage. I’ll work overtime to ensure Taiwan gets every $ of the $19B in weapons backlog they’ve ordered, and more," the congressman wrote.

The intrusion occurred when Chinese hackers gained entry into 25 organizations through the Microsoft server, which included State and Commerce Department email accounts, the Epoch Times reported.

Other affected officials included U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

A spokesperson for Bacon's office told the Epoch Times that the FBI informed victims by phone call; the federal agency had no comment on the issue.

The spokesperson also said that on same day, the Microsoft Network alerted the congressman that his account “may have been compromised or hacked” and that he should change his password.

In late May 2023, the BBC reported that Chinese hackers had infiltrated American military bases in Guam in one of the largest known cyber espionage campaigns against the United States.

Microsoft flagged the breach that the company said used malicious code that was installed to spy on and disrupt "communications infrastructure between the US and Asia during future crises."

The attack was reportedly carried out by a group called "Volt Typhoon," which is allegedly state-sponsored by the Chinese government.

A report in mid-July 2023 by the Wall Street Journal detailed a hack on Microsoft systems that the company revealed to be an attack on its cloud-based email system. The breach compromised the email inboxes of approximately two dozen organizations across the world.

The hack, which reached the federal government, the State Department, and the commerce secretary appeared to be the same intrusion that involved Rep. Bacon.

The Chinese government, however, has referred to Microsoft's reports as "highly unprofessional" and "disinformation."

Starting in September 2023, Microsoft said it will make 31 security logs available to its users so that the companies can investigate any hacks based on suspicious activity.

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