Wyden: Senators need protection from ongoing Russian hacking campaign

Politico 1 month ago

Russian hackers behind the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack appear to be targeting the personal email of senators and their staffers, according to Sen. Ron Wyden.

In a letter today to Senate leaders, the Oregon Democrat urged support for legislation that would allow the Sergeant at Arms to protect those email systems.

The letter from Wyden follows reports in January that the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear — which the U.S. intelligence community identified as one group that penetrated the DNC in the lead-up to the 2016 election — was going after Senate offices.

"My office has since discovered that Fancy Bear targeted personal email accounts, not official government accounts," Wyden wrote. "And the Fancy Bear attacks may be the tip of a much larger iceberg.

"My office has also discovered that at least one major technology company has informed a number of Senators and Senate staff members that their personal email accounts were targeted by foreign government hackers," he wrote.

Wyden said his staff subsequently learned that the Senate Sergeant at Arms told offices it didn't have the authority protect their personal emails. BuzzFeed previously reported that the Sergeant at Arms would not protect personal emails.

He said he was introducing legislation to change that. He asked for support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the top Democrat on the Rules panel.

The Associated Press first reported Wyden's letter.

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