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HomeHacking & Cyber-CrimeChinese hackers compromised US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns’ email account | World News

Chinese hackers compromised US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns’ email account | World News


US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns' email account was hacked into by Chinese hackers recently, according to a report by CNN. The report says that email account of Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of State for East Asia, was also compromised in the targeted cyberattack.

US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns(AFP)
US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns(AFP)

The latest report adds to similar incident which involved the breach of email account of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo by Chinese hackers, last week.

In recent years, cyberattacks have been one of the major reasons of bad blood between the two countries. During his recent visit to China, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a meeting with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in which a cyberattack on US government email systems, including the State Department, was discussed.

A hacking incident which was discovered just before Blinken's visit was targeted on unclassified US government email system, which is operated by US officials with the assumption that it can be hacked.

Talking about the cyber operation which happened before recent reports of breach of Burns' email account, Blinken had said: “I can’t discuss details of our response. Beyond that, and most critically, this incident remains under investigation."

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According to Microsoft, the cyberattack which compromised unclassified US government email system, began in mid-May when the China-based hackers used a stolen sign-in key to breach such accounts.

The hack was discovered by US State Department analyst in mid-June after noticing unusual cyber activity on the department's computer systems. The analyst then alerted Microsoft about the issue. The incident rang alarm bells for senior cyber officials at the State Department and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) who sprung into action to understand the seriousness of the breach.

“The critical work that [the State Department does] conduct on behalf of the American people” made it important to understand how serious the hack was, said Eric Goldstein, a senior CISA official.

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