State Department officials have confirmed that the Islamic Republic of Iran hacked into their emails and social media accounts during the Fall of 2015 – a particularly sensitive time for the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.
The hacking occurred just days after the deal overcame opposition in Congress. That week, officials in Iran and negotiators from the US and other countries sat down and began to hash out agreements allowing Tehran to meet previously determined implementation deadlines, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Officials said the hacking sent “shockwaves” through the State Department and everyone working on the Iran deal.
It is unclear whether top officials at the State Department negotiating the Iran deal knew about the hack or if their personal or professional email accounts were compromised. Sources familiar with the attack believed top officials at State were deeply concerned about the hack and that those senior leaders did not have any of their email or social media accounts compromised in this particular incident.
Asked about the cyber-attack, a State Department spokesman told The Beacon, “For security reasons we cannot confirm whether any hacking incident took place.”
As many as four State Department officials in the Bureau of Near East Affairs and a senior State Department adviser on digital media and cyber-security were involved in trying to contain the hack, according to an email dated September 24, 2015, and multiple interviews with sources familiar with the attack.