(PatriotWise.com) — Nevada Republican Rep. Don Bacon revealed last week that Chinese hackers breached his campaign and personal email accounts, CNN reported.
Bacon, a member of the Agriculture and Armed Services Committees, revealed in a post on X last Monday that the FBI had notified him that he was among the US officials whose email was breached between May 15 and June 16.
According to the Nebraska Republican, the hackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft’s software to breach his accounts.
In a follow-up post, Bacon indicated that others were victims of similar hacking.
The hackers also gained access to the unclassified email accounts of officials from the Commerce and State Departments, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and the US Ambassador to China.
Bacon is the first lawmaker known to have had his email accounts breached by Chinese hackers.
In a statement to CNN, a spokeswoman for Rep. Bacon said the only information obtained in the hack included emails on fundraising, political strategy, and “possibly some personal banking information.”
Rep. Bacon is a vocal supporter of Taiwan and has been outspoken in opposing China’s treatment of the Uyghurs.
His spokeswoman told CNN that because Rep. Bacon is a retired Air Force Brig. Gen. trained in electronic warfare, he always assumes his email communications are being monitored.
When asked to comment on Rep. Bacon’s revelation, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington accused the United States of launching cyberattacks on China.
The monthlong hacking campaign coincided with Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing. Administration officials believed that the operation was designed to give Beijing insights into the thinking of US officials before Blinken’s visit, CNN reported.
The hacking operation began in mid-May after Chinese-based hackers used a stolen sign-in key to access the email accounts, according to Microsoft. The unusual cyber activity was discovered in mid-June by a State Department analyst who alerted Microsoft.
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