China has been hacking into the personal email accounts used by officials in the Obama administration, according to NBC News. Top secret documents as well as confirmation from anonymous government sources were used to confirm the information.
The U.S. government first noticed the security breach in 2010. The code name used by U.S. officials to identify the hack was first “Dancing Panda” (hilarious, but true) and then “Legion Amethyst.”
The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on.
In 2011, Google disclosed that the private gmail accounts of some U.S. officials had been compromised, but the briefing shows that private email accounts from other providers were compromised as well.
Although personal email accounts may have been compromised for over four years, officials believe that work email accounts are still safe, reports Reuters.
The officials’ government email accounts were not vulnerable to the hacking because they were on more secure systems, NBC said.
Interesting fact: the email hack is within the time frame of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State.
Could the Chinese now be in possession of U.S. State secrets?
[NBC News] [Reuters] [Image courtesy istock]