Vietnamese hackers target CT Sen. Chris Murphy, others in Congress | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Members of Congress are long-time targets for computer hackers trying to pry government secrets and possibly install spyware into networks, but revelations reported this week indicate that even small nations that are generally allied with the United States are trying to get a piece of the internet surveillance action.

The Washington Post and CNN  both reported this week that hackers with Vietnam connections have targeted the phones of journalists and lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, through X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter. Their efforts apparently failed, according to the report representing the work of a consortium of news outlets.

Another high-profile lawmaker reportedly targeted was House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

Murphy is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of its subcommittee on the Middle East. The Washington Post coverage also noted that experts on Asia as well as CNN reporters were also targeted, including Jim Sciutto, the news network’s lead national security analyst, along with two Asia-based reporters.

Murphy was involved with his annual walk across Connecticut on Tuesday and not available for comment, but a Murphy aide confirmed the attempt was made through a social media link. “Senator Murphy’s office was made aware of a potential phishing attempt made on X,” the aide said Tuesday afternoon. “To the best of our knowledge, neither the senator, nor anyone on staff engaged with the link.”

“Cybersecurity should be a top priority for everyone,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “Never click on an unfamiliar and unsolicited link. This incident underscores the importance of having proper cybersecurity protocols in place and I urge everyone to think before clicking a suspicious link.” In an afternoon interview, Blumenthal, who leads a subcommittee on privacy technology and the law, said the emergence of Artificial Intelligence will further complicate efforts to combat cybercrimes.


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