Hackers Exploited Windows Flaw to Access State Department Computers

Hackers e-mailed State Department with tool that allowed them entrance into department computers

At first, the hackers did not immediately appear to be trying to steal any U.S. government data. Authorities quietly monitored the hackers' activity, then tripwires severed Internet connections in the region after a limited amount of data was detected being stolen, Reid said.

Reid also complained the State Department's efforts to deal quietly with the break-in were disrupted by news reports. The Associated Press was first to reveal the intrusions.

"We were successful here until a newspaper article telegraphed what we were dealing with," Reid said.

<<Associated Press WorldStream -- 04/20/07>>