Cybersecurity

Google says senators’ Gmail accounts targeted by foreign hackers

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Foreign government hackers targeted the personal Gmail accounts of multiple senators and Senate staffers, a Google spokesperson told CNN Thursday.

The news comes a day after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a letter to Senate leaders that a technology company informed senators and staffers that their personal accounts were hacked and that the Senate’s security office “apparently lacks the authority” to guard against the threats. 

Google confirmed to The Hill that it was the technology company to which Wyden referred, but declined to say who specifically was targeted, when the attempted hacking took place or if it was successful.

Google sends “these out of an abundance of caution — the notice does not necessarily mean that the account has been compromised or that there is a widespread attack,” a Google spokesperson told The Hill.

{mosads}Google confirmed to CNN that it was the technology company to which Wyden referred, but declined to say who specifically was targeted, when the attempted hacking took place or if it was successful. 

Microsoft said earlier this year that it identified and stopped hacking attempts against three congressional candidates in the 2018 midterms, of which Sen. Claire McCaskill revealed she was one.

Russian hackers successfully penetrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the email of Hillary Clinton’s then-campaign chairman, John Podesta in 2016. Special counsel Robert Mueller in July indicted 12 Russian military officers for the DNC hack.

Wyden blamed the Russian “Fancy Bear” group in his letter and announced he would introduce legislation requiring the security office to help senators and members of their staff with cybersecurity for their personal devices and accounts.

“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,” he wrote.

Neither Google nor Wyden’s office immediately returned requests for comment from The Hill.

Tags Claire McCaskill Hillary Clinton Robert Mueller Ron Wyden
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