By STEPHANIE CONDON
A hacker gained access to several email accounts belonging to members of the Bush family and their friends, according to a report first published by the Smoking Gun, compromising their personal photos and correspondence, as well as private information such as home addresses and cell phone numbers.
A spokesman for the Bush family confirmed to CBS News that authorities are investigating the hacking. The U.S. Secret Service confirmed to CBS News that it is investigating the matter.
The list of email accounts compromised reportedly included accounts belonging to Dorothy Bush Koch, daughter of former President George H.W. Bush and sister of former President George W. Bush; Willard Heminway, a friend of George H.W. Bush; and former first lady Barbara Bush’s brother. The intercepted emails were sent between 2009 and 2012.
Some of the more recent emails intercepted reportedly included family correspondence about the the health of George H.W. Bush, who was until recentlyhospitalized for a serious, lingering bronchial condition. In one email sent in late December, Obama presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett forwarded a personal message from President Obama, who wrote, “Michelle and I haven’t wanted to impinge on you while you are recuperating, but please know that we are thinking of you and the entire family.”
In an example of a potential security compromise, one email sent to CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, a longtime Bush family friend, gives Nantz the street address for George W. Bush’s home, as well as the four-digit code Nantz needed to enter at a security gate.
The hacker also apparently gained access to pictures that George W. Bush sent to his sister, showing some of his recent artwork. They included self-portraits that the former president painted of himself in the shower. Since leaving the White House, the former president has taken up painting.