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Senator Ron Wyden: U.S. Senate, Staff Targeted by State-Backed Hackers

Frank Bajak and Raphael Satter

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said in a Wednesday letter to Senate leaders that his office discovered that “at least one major technology company” has warned an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal email accounts were “targeted by foreign government hackers.” Similar methods were employed by Russian military agents who leaked the contents of private email inboxes to influence the 2016 elections.

Wyden did not specify the timing of the notifications, but a Senate staffer said they occurred “in the last few weeks or months.” The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

But the senator said the Office of the Sergeant at Arms , which oversees Senate security, informed legislators and staffers that it has no authority to help secure personal, rather than official, accounts.

I’m going to guess the “major technology company” is Google, simply because Gmail is the leading email provider. If you ever wonder why Ron Wyden seems almost amazingly well-informed on very technical computer security matters, keep in mind that Christopher Soghoian is on his staff as a senior advisor.

Thursday, 20 September 2018