Lawmaker: US Senate staff targeted by state-backed hackers

ABC News | 9/19/2018 | Staff
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Foreign government hackers continue to target the personal accounts of U.S. senators and their aides — and the Senate's security office has refused to defend them, a lawmaker says.

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 accounts were "targeted by foreign government hackers." Similar methods were employed by Russian military agents who used them to influence the 2016 elections.

Wyden - Timing - Notifications - Senate - Staffer

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. A spokeswoman for the office said it would have no comment.

Wyden - Letter - November - Election - Russia

"This must change," Wyden wrote in the letter. "The November election grows ever closer, Russia continues its attacks on our democracy, and the Senate simply does not have the luxury of further delays."

Wyden has proposed legislation that would allow the security office to offer digital protection for personal accounts and devices, the same way it does with official versions to extend that assistance to personal accounts and devices. His letter did not provide additional details of the attempts to pry into the lawmakers' digital lives, including whether lawmakers of both parties have been targeted.

Google - Microsoft - Email - Accounts

Google and Microsoft, which offer popular private email accounts, declined to comment.

The Wyden letter cites previous Associated Press reporting on the Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bear and how it targeted the personal accounts of congressional aides...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ABC News
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