According to an FBI inquiry, it appears that Paula Broadwell — former CIA director David Petraeus‘s biographer and the woman with whom he conducted an extramarital affair — “or someone close to her” had sought access to his personal Gmail account, with several of Petraus’ contracts reporting to have received anonymous, harassing emails ultimately traced back to Broadwell.
As the Washington Post explains, this is a very, very big deal when it comes to our country’s national security:
That’s a big deal: Some of the most powerful foreign spy agencies in the world would love to have an opening, however small, into the personal e-mail account of the man who runs the United States’ spy service. The information could have proved of enormous value to foreign hackers, who already maintain a near-constant effort to access sensitive U.S. data.
If Petraeus allowed his Gmail security to be compromised even slightly, by widening access, sharing passwords or logging in from multiple addresses, it would have brought foreign spy agencies that much closer to a treasure trove of information.
It adds that, while Petraeus’ personal account would be unlikely to contain explicit government secrets or plans, it would have likely included insight into his own travel plans and, as the harassing email seem to indicate, a means of easily contacting his high-level colleagues.
h/t Washington Post
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com