Suspected Russian hackers stole thousands of diplomatic emails from Washington, in a new Moscow-led cyberattack on Washington, Politico reported.
The hackers breached emails from department bureaus that work on issues related to allies in European and Indo-Pacific nations as well as NATO, Congressional sources told the outlet.
It does not appear that the suspects infiltrated a classified network, according to the article.
It’s unclear if the email theft was part of the SolarWinds spying campaign, where Russians allegedly exploited a vulnerable piece of software that is used across the US, according to the report.
In that hack, several federal agencies, including the Pentagon, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security itself, were compromised by the breach.
A State Department spokesperson said, “the Department takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard its information and continuously takes steps to ensure information is protected. For security reasons, we are not in a position to discuss the nature or scope of any alleged cybersecurity incidents at this time,” according to Politico.
The White House declined to comment on “specific agencies,” but a national security advisor said the government has “discovered broad gaps in cybersecurity defenses,” and is rapidly moving to “modernize our cybersecurity approach,” the report stated.
The US has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia in an effort to deter the attacks.