Justice Department says Russians hacked federal prosecutors

Justice Department says Russians hacked federal prosecutors
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building in Washington. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: The US Justice Department has said that the Russian hackers behind the massive SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign hacked some of the most prominent federal prosecutors’ offices around the country last year.

The Justice Department said 80% of Microsoft email accounts used by four US attorney offices employees in New York were breached. All told, the Department said 27 Attorney offices in the US had at least one employee’s email account compromised during the hacking campaign.

In a statement on Friday, the Justice Department said that it believes the accounts were compromised from May 7 to December 27, 2020. Such a timeframe is notable because the SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign, which infiltrated dozens of private-sector think tanks and companies as well as at least nine US government agencies, was first discovered and publicized in middle of December.

In April, the Biden administration announced sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats, in response to the SolarWinds hack and Russian interference in the last US presidential election. Russia has denied the accusation and claimed it was not involved with any wrongdoing.

In January, the Administrative Office of US Courts confirmed that it was also breached, giving the SolarWinds hackers another entry point to steal confidential information like espionage targets, whistleblower reports, trade secrets and arrest warrants.

The list of affected offices include several large and high-profile ones like those in Miami, Washington, Los Angeles and the Eastern District of Virginia.

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