Ministry of Justice says Russians hacked federal prosecutors

Washington-the Russian hackers behind the massive attacks Solar wind Last year, cyber espionage broke into the email accounts of some of the country’s most famous federal prosecutors’ offices. Ministry of Justice Said Friday.

This Department Said that 80% of Microsoft email accounts used by employees of four American law firms in New York were leaked. all in all, Ministry of Justice Indicates that the email account of at least one employee of the 27 U.S. Attorney’s Office was compromised during the hacking activity.

This Ministry of Justice In a statement, it stated that it believes these accounts were hacked between May 7 and December 27, 2020.This time frame is worth noting because Solar wind In mid-December, the activities of dozens of private sector companies and think tanks and at least 9 US government agencies were discovered and made public for the first time.

The Biden administration announced sanctions in April, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats, in response Solar wind Hackers and Russia interfered in the 2020 US presidential election. Russia denies wrongdoing.

Jennifer Rodgers, a lecturer at Columbia Law School, said that when she was a federal prosecutor in New York, office emails often contained sensitive information, including case strategy discussions and the names of confidential informants.

“I don’t remember anyone who brought me files because of security issues instead of emailing them to me,” she said, noting the exception for confidential materials.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Court of Justice confirmed in January that it was also damaged, giving Solar wind Another entry point for hackers to steal confidential information such as trade secrets, spy targets, whistleblower reports, and arrest warrants.

The list of affected offices includes several large and high-profile offices in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, and the Eastern District of Virginia.

A large number of staff members in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York were hit, dealing with some of the country’s most famous prosecutors.

“New York is the world’s financial center. These areas are known for investigating and prosecuting white-collar crime and other cases, including those close to the former president,” said Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham School of Law. Former prosecutor of the Southern District.

This Department Said that it has notified all victims and is working to mitigate the “operational, security and privacy risks” caused by hackers.This Ministry of Justice It said in January that there was no indication that any confidential systems were affected.

This Ministry of Justice No more detailed information was provided about what information was obtained and what impact such hacking might have on the ongoing case. Members of Congress expressed disappointment that the Biden administration did not share more information about the impact of the epidemic. Solar wind Activity.

The Associated Press previously reported that Solar wind The hackers obtained information belonging to the then Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and DepartmentOf cyber security personnel whose job includes finding threats from foreign countries.

Sudeman reports from Richmond, Virginia.

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