It is now generally taken as a given that Russian and Chinese spies were reading Hillary Clinton’s official email correspondence while she was Secretary of State. Breaking into an unsecured home server is child’s play for those countries’ intelligence agencies. But this story from Great Britain raises an even more chilling possibility:
Jihadists in Syria have hacked into ministerial email accounts in a sophisticated espionage operation uncovered by GCHQ, the Telegraph can disclose.
An investigation by the intelligence agency has discovered that extremists linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have been targeting information held by some of David Cameron’s most senior ministers, including Theresa May, the Home Secretary.
It is understood that at least one of the plot’s ringleaders was killed by a drone strike in an operation disclosed by the Prime Minister this week.
By hacking into the private offices of senior ministers, the extremists could have discovered events that government figures and members of the Royal family were expected to attend.
While the details are hazy, it appears that ISIS had at least some success in accessing the official accounts of senior British government officials. And these are secure accounts maintained by experts in counter-espionage, not home servers maintained out of a bathroom in Denver.
The British experience raises the distinct possibility that hackers from al Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups may, like the Russians and Chinese, have had access to top secret U.S. information through the Secretary of State’s unsecured server. It has been speculated that North African terrorists may have known Chris Stevens’ whereabouts in Benghazi by hacking into Hillary’s email account, which we know did, on occasion, include information about Stevens’ location. We may never know whether this speculation is correct; any emails that could have answered the question are likely among the tens of thousands that Hillary had deleted.
Be that as it may, the fact that our Secretary of State endangered national security by offering an open door to hostile intelligence services and sophisticated terrorist hackers is outrageous.