The breach of the Capitol this week by pro-Trump rioters also put lawmakers’ cybersecurity at risk.
Why it matters: Files, emails and other data lifted from lawmakers would have enormous value to hostile foreign powers, cybercriminals and other bad actors.
Driving the news: In a letter circulated Thursday to House lawmakers’ offices and obtained by Axios, the chamber’s chief administrative officer said “there have been no indications that the House network was compromised” but advised staff to make a full accounting of all devices and report back if anything appears missing or amiss.
- The Justice Department warned in a briefing that stolen items, including electronics, could pose natural security risks, according to a Politico report.
Context: Rioters who stormed the Capitol entered Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and a reporter tweeted (and has since deleted) a photo claiming to be of an unlocked computer with email open in her office.
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said a laptop was stolen from an office he used in a video he posted showing damage to the room.
- Pelosi and Merkley’s offices did not respond to requests for comment.
How it works: If any congressional devices or networks were breached, either amid the chaos Wednesday or via, say, a USB drive surreptitiously inserted into a computer, that could mean not only theft of information but also the potential to insert malicious code for future exploitation or mischief.
- A Hill aide told Axios it’s