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Chinese Spies Access Email Inboxes Of Top U.S. Government Officials

Chinese Spies Access Email Inboxes Of Top U.S. Government Officials
[Photo: Flickr user Nan Palmero]

Chinese spies have reportedly compromised the email accounts of prominent officials in the Obama administration, NBC reports, citing a U.S. intelligence source and a “secret document” the network obtained. The hacks have taken place since at least 2010, and reportedly gave individuals linked to the Chinese government access to the personal email accounts and address books of officials overseeing national security and trade.

According to NBC, the top-secret document and a senior government official confirmed the breach. The email hack, codenamed “Dancing Panda” and then “Legion Amethyst,” was first detected in April 2010. Both Gmail accounts belonging to high-level government officials and private accounts from other providers were compromised, and the hacks are believed to be ongoing.

The timeframe of the hack overlaps with the period of time in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email account for work-related purposes. NBC’s sources claim the hacks involved only personal email accounts and not official .gov or .mil accounts.

[via NBC News]

NU