The Justice Department says that during a major breach last year, almost 30 top US prosecutors reportedly had their office email accounts hacked. This was the worst cyber-espionage attack on the US government that targeted the users of the SolarWinds software.
According to reports from the department, at least one office computer each of 27 US attorneys was hacked. It is possible that hackers were able to access sensitive information that includes the names of informants as well. A former federal prosecutor, Gil Soffer stated that it's "potentially very serious". Further, he said that the emails of the prosecutors contained "very sensitive, very confidential and often very secret information". Soffer went on to say that if hackers accessed the identities of the secret informants, they could use that information to reveal their identity.
The attack was made public last December and it was revealed that cyber-criminals got access to 18,000 government and private computer networks. Among the victims of the cyberattack, 80% of Microsoft email accounts were used by employees at the four New York attorney offices that are responsible for managing major prosecutions in the country.
Renato Mariotti, the former federal prosecutor, stated that "there are very sensitive investigations going on within those offices". He added that their data contains information about a lot of prominent financial investigations which implies that anything hackers were potentially able to access could be used for extortion or blackmail.
In April, the administration of US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Russia in response to the SolarWinds breach and other cyberattacks. However, Russia has denied the hacking allegations.