Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Leif Le Mahieu.
House Republicans have opened a probe into suspected Chinese cyber-espionage campaigns targeting the State Department and the Commerce Department after hackers gained access to federal government communications.
The investigation is being led by House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer (R-KY), Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), and Rep. Glenn Growthman (R-WI). In two letters sent Wednesday, the lawmakers requested further information from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo after reports last month that Chinese hackers had gained access to communications from both departments.
"According to recent reports, as part of a 'suspected cyber-espionage campaign to access data in sensitive computer networks' by China, the breaches reportedly occurred at over two dozen organizations, including some U.S. government agencies. The Department discovered this alleged intrusion by China on June 16, 2023, yet, you left later that evening for a trip to Beijing,"
the letter to Blinken said.
The lawmakers want a briefing on the compromise by August 9, saying they believed the recent discovery of the hacking indicated that China's cyberattacks were becoming more advanced.
"The incident even raises the possibility that Chinese hackers may be able to access high-level computer networks and remain undetected for months if not years,"
the letter says.
Lawmakers also requested a briefing from Raimondo in a nearly identical letter to the one sent to Blinken.
News of the hacking, which federal officials first discovered in June, was first made public in July.
"Microsoft notified the department of a compromise to Microsoft's Office 365 system, and the department took immediate action to respond,"
a spokesman for the Commerce Department said last month. "We are monitoring our systems and will respond promptly should any further activity be detected."
In March, the White House put out a framework discussing the need for cybersecurity, warning that China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran were all working to increase their cyber capabilities.
According to the framework, China represents "the broadest, most active, and most persistent threat to both government and private sector networks and is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so."
It added that China was pursuing "digital authoritarianism"
to "shape the global Internet"
into its image.