The Latest: Foreign hackers target US senators, aides' Gmail

FILE - In this April 30, 2015, file photo, a Capitol Hill staffer looks down at papers while on a cellphone while walking inside the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is proposing new legislation that would allow the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to spend taxpayer money protecting senators’ private email accounts and personal devices amid persistent anxieties over the digital security of the American midterm vote. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - In this June 28, 2018, file photo, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, speaks during a hearing on the nomination of Charles Rettig for Internal Revenue Service Commissioner on Capitol Hill in Washington. Wyden is proposing new legislation that would allow the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to spend taxpayer money protecting senators’ private email accounts and personal devices amid persistent anxieties over the digital security of the American midterm vote. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., makes a phone call just off the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is proposing new legislation that would allow the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to spend taxpayer money protecting senators’ private email accounts and personal devices amid persistent anxieties over the digital security of the American midterm vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2015, file photo, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., checks his phone as he arrives for a bipartisan lunch in the Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill in Washington. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is proposing new legislation that would allow the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to spend taxpayer money protecting senators’ private email accounts and personal devices amid persistent anxieties over the digital security of the American midterm vote. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

BOSTON — The Latest on foreign targeting of senators' email accounts (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

A Google spokesman says the company has notified an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal email accounts continue to be targeted by state-backed foreign hackers.

Spokesman Aaron Stein would not disclose further details such as who was behind the attempted break-ins, their timing or who was targeted.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon initially disclosed the persistent targeting on Wednesday in a letter complaining that the Senate security office has refused to help defend the personal accounts.

Wyden said his office had discovered that "at least one major technology company" had notified the senators and their aides. Initially, Google had no comment.

___

5:45 p.m. Wednesday

A U.S. lawmaker says foreign government hackers continue to target the personal accounts of U.S. senators and their aides — and that the Senate's security office won't help defend them.

Senator Ron Wyden says in a letter to Senate leaders that "at least one major technology company" has warned an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal accounts were targeted by foreign government hackers.

Similar methods were employed by Russian agents to influence the 2016 elections. A spokeswoman for the Senate security office said it would have no comment.

Wyden did not specify the notifications' timing, but a Senate staffer said they came within the last few weeks or months. That staffer spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

— Frank Bajak, AP cybersecurity writer

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