WASHINGTON (UPI) — Officials are looking into the reported breach of a non-secure email account belonging to a contracted White House employee that mined and leaked a slew of sensitive information that pertained to administration officials — all the way up to President Barack Obama himself.
The breach involved an account belonging to a college student employed as a White House associate.
An assortment of information was obtained through the hack, including the following:
– Details about Secret Service and military staffers who accompanied President Barack Obama on his trip to Cuba in March
– The White House Travel Manual, which includes IT security information
– Routes for movement of Vice President Joe Biden for various U.S. trips this year
– Personal data for other White House staffers
– An image of Michelle Obama’s passport, including sensitive personal information
The hacked email account was reportedly a Google GMail server-hosted account belonging to the student that the sensitive information was forwarded to.
The emails were posted Thursday by a hacker group’s website, DC Leaks, that some U.S. officials believe is actually run by Russian intelligence operators and approved by the Kremlin in Moscow.
“We are deeply concerned that the Russians are meddling,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told NBC Nightly News Thursday. “From what we know of the Russian system, instructions for that kind of thing, we believe, would only come from the highest levels.”
In all, about 12,700 emails belonging to the student were involved in the breach. Authorities are still trying to determine why the sensitive information was forwarded to the student’s GMail account at all.
The student’s current employment status and exactly what duties he performed were not initially disclosed.
The White House breach is the latest in a recent series involving sensitive government information. DC Leaks also published emails last week from former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
White House officials are investigating the breach.
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