China’s government intelligence agency has hacked into the account of Chinese President Xi Jinping, an official with the Chinese government’s cyberdefense agency said Tuesday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the hacking was a clear breach of the social media giant’s systems.
The hacking occurred in May, just weeks after the Chinese leader took office.
The account belonged to the head of the National Security Bureau, according to the official, who declined to be named because he is not authorized for a briefing.
The hacked account contained the names of hundreds of top officials, including leaders of the ruling Communist Party, as well as a photo of Xi.
The Chinese official said the data also included a list of government officials, with the names and email addresses of their spouses, spouses’ children, and their relatives.
The data was reportedly accessed through a command and control server at a Chinese military base in the southern province of Guangdong, where the hackers were based.
It did not show how the hackers gained access.
China has been the subject of an international cyber-attack in recent weeks, including the discovery of sensitive data belonging to an American company and the disclosure of details about a US military program in China.
China’s military has denied any cyberattacks on its territory.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the National People’s Congress, the body that oversees the Chinese Communist Party’s top leadership, said “all state agencies, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises are under the protection of the law.”
The spokesperson did not identify the hacking victim.