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‘Dozens of email accounts’ were hacked at US Treasury -Senator Wyden

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Dozens of email accounts in the US Treasury Department were included by the hackers accountable for a broad espionage campaign against US government agencies, the office of US Senator Ron Wyden has said.

In a written statement, Wyden’s office said that Senate Finance Committee staff were briefed the hack at the Treasury Department appears to have been a significant one, “the full depth of which isn’t known.”

Wyden, the senior Democrat on the committee, stated that Microsoft advised the agency that dozens of email accounts had been compromised and that the hackers also penetrated the systems at Treasury’s Departmental Offices branch, which will be home to its top officials.

“Treasury still does not know all of the actions taken by hackers, or precisely what information was stolen,” the announcement said, though it added that the Internal Revenue Service stated there was no proof the tax bureau was compromised or taxpayer data was changed.

Wyden’s statement carried a considerably more pessimistic tone than the one shot by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told CNBC earlier in the afternoon that “the good news is there has been no damage, nor have we seen any large amounts of information displaced.”

The Treasury declined to add to Mnuchin’s comments.

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US authorities and cybersecurity experts in many countries are still struggling to receive their arms around the breach, which started earlier this season when hackers subverted the Texas-based software company SolarWinds and used the company as a springboard to jump deep to government and corporate networks.

Top US officials – including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have blamed Russia for the espionage operation, though some officials and experts have told Reuters it’s too soon to know for sure who is behind the violation.

GOP President Donald J Trump, who’s spent much of his term in office protecting Russia from various allegations of hacking and interference, downplayed the violation and raised the possibility that China could be involved.

Attorney General Bill Barr on Monday became the latest Trump loyalist to break with the outgoing president on the issue, telling a news conference that he agreed with Pompeo’s assessment: “It certainly appears to be the Russians but I am not going to discuss it beyond that.”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘[post_title]’ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Raphael Satter. Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sonya Hepinstall.

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