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House Oversight Committee Republicans Initiate Probe into Federal Data Breaches

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee's Republican members initiated an inquiry on Wednesday into recent email data breaches at several federal agencies, including the State Department and the Department of Commerce.

In letters addressed to Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, the GOP members of the Oversight Committee requested a briefing from each department within the following week. Their objective is to comprehend the scale and implications of the data breaches reportedly orchestrated by Chinese hackers.

In their statement, the lawmakers cited recent reports of a purported cyber-espionage campaign by China, targeting data in sensitive computer networks. Allegedly, these breaches took place in over two dozen organizations, encompassing a few U.S. government agencies. They pointed out that Raimondo's own email was compromised in these attacks.

In a bid to understand the breach's discovery, impact, the department's response, and steps taken for future security of the department's email and overall information systems, they requested a staff briefing by August 9, 2023.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and GOP Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Glenn Grothman (Wis.), each chairing related subcommittees, were among those who sent these letters.

The lawmakers expressed grave concern that these cyber-attacks represent a new degree of skill and complexity from Chinese hackers.

They stated that China's tactics seem to be evolving from what was once labeled as "noisy" and "rudimentary" to something security experts now regard as "among the most technically sophisticated and stealthy ever discovered".

They voiced concern that this suggests Chinese hackers might now have the capability to infiltrate high-level computer networks and remain undetected for extended periods.


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