Suspected Russian hackers stole thousands of State Department officials’ emails last year, according to two Congressional sources familiar with the intrusion, in the second known Kremlin-backed breach on the department’s email server in under a decade.
The hackers accessed emails in the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the congressional sources said. It does not appear at this point that the classified network was accessed, a third official said.
It is not clear whether the theft of State Department emails was part of the SolarWinds espionage campaign, in which Russian hackers burrowed into federal and private sector networks by exploiting a piece of software — developed by the IT company SolarWinds — that is used across the government and private sector. The State Department used SolarWinds software and was exposed in that breach, according to The Washington Post.