By Kevin Liptak
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The White House is investigating the apparent hack of an email account belonging to a low-level contractor that purportedly contained a scan of Michelle Obama’s passport and information about vice presidential travel.
An image that appeared to be of the first lady’s passport was posted online.
“I can tell you that administration officials are taking a look at the information that has been disclosed,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Thursday. “We take any reports about any cyberbreach seriously, particularly if it may include some sensitive information. At this point, I can’t speak to the authenticity of the information released.
“At this point, I cannot announce any sort of conclusion that has been reached about the individual or individuals who may have been responsible for the cyberbreach of this information,” Earnest said.
He couldn’t confirm the authenticity of the passport scan, and said the emails in question belonged to a contractor who was hired for individual advance jobs, and was not a full-time White House staffer.
The rest of the published emails contained largely mundane information about White House logistics. The group that posted the information, DCLeaks, was also responsible for publishing Colin Powell’s emails last week.
A spokeswoman for the US Secret Service said the agency “is aware of the alleged email hacking of a White House employee. The Secret Service is concerned any time unauthorized information that might pertain to one of the individuals we protect, or our operations, is allegedly disclosed. As a matter of policy, we do not provide information regarding investigations.”
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