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Justice Department Emails Were Compromised In Russia Hack

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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Justice Department email accounts were compromised during the massive hack that officials believe was spearheaded by the Russian government.

Roughly 3% of Department of Justice (DOJ) email accounts were accessed during the hack, the department said in a press release Wednesday. There is currently no “indication” of any classified systems being impacted.

“On Dec. 24, 2020, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Chief Information Officer learned of previously unknown malicious activity linked to the global SolarWinds incident that has affected multiple federal agencies and technology contractors, among others,” DOJ spokesperson Marc Raimondi said in a statement.

“This activity involved access to the Department’s Microsoft O365 email environment,” he continued. (RELATED: Massive Cyberattack Was Waged From Within US, Top Cybersecurity Firm Says)

A view of the Department of Justice press room pictured in 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

A view of the Department of Justice press room pictured in 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

It remained unclear following the announcement if federal government data beyond emails had been affected in the hack, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. authorities have blamed the Russian government for the monthslong attack, which reportedly began in July and was detected by cybersecurity firm FireEye in December, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The massive cyberattack was conducted using servers and computers within the U.S. and often from within the same town or city as the victims of the attack, according to FireEye. Because the attack came from domestic servers, the perpetrators were able to evade the National Security Agency’s authority, which does not extend to domestic private-sector networks.

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