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Chinese Hackers Breached US Ambassador to China’s Email Account

CNN — China-based hackers breached the email account of US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns as part of a recent targeted intelligence-gathering campaign, three US officials familiar with the matter told CNN.

The hackers also accessed the email account of Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of State for East Asia, who recently traveled with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China, the people said.

The news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, adds to the fallout for the US of the alleged Chinese hack first revealed last week. The hackers also infiltrated the emails of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, CNN previously reported.

US officials have consistently labeled China as the most advanced of US adversaries in cyberspace, a domain that has repeatedly been a source of bilateral tension in recent years. The FBI has said Beijing has a larger hacking program than all other governments combined.

The hackers breached the unclassified US government email system, and US officials generally operate with the assumption that anything on the unclassified network can be hacked. Still, the Biden administration believes that the Chinese hacking operation gave Beijing insights about US thinking heading into Blinken’s high-stakes trip to China in June, CNN has reported.

Blinken raised the issue of the hacking incident in a meeting with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi last week, a senior State Department official said.

Source : CNN