According to sources familiar with a Senate briefing, Chinese hackers targeted the email accounts of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and other government officials, resulting in the theft of 60,000 emails from the State Department alone. The hack, which occurred earlier this year, affected 10 State Department email accounts, with nine of them belonging to individuals working on East Asian and Pacific affairs. The breach, which targeted Microsoft-based email accounts at the State and Commerce Departments, was initially reported in July but the extent of the hack was only recently disclosed. While Washington has not officially attributed the intrusion to China, several U.S. officials, including Raimondo, have made the connection. The hackers utilized a stolen Microsoft certificate to access the State Department email accounts, which was also used to target 25 other organizations and government agencies. The content of the stolen emails remains unknown, but U.S. officials have downplayed the potential compromise of sensitive information, stating that classified email accounts were not affected. The breaches occurred prior to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken's visit to China as part of the Biden administration's efforts to improve diplomatic relations while imposing restrictions on American investments in certain Chinese sectors. Senator Eric Schmitt, a Republican from Missouri, has criticized the government's reliance on single-vendor systems, such as Microsoft, and called for increased cybersecurity measures to prevent future cyberattacks and unauthorized access to sensitive government information.