Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush (L) and former first lady Barbara Bush arrive in the East Room for the unveiling of former President George W. Bush's offical portrait at the White House May 31, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Photographer: (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON - A hacker apparently accessed private photos and emails sent between members of the Bush Family, including both former presidents, and a spokesman for George H.W. Bush said a criminal investigation is under way.
The Smoking Gun website said the hacker, who went by the online moniker "Guccifer," gained access to emails, photos, private telephone numbers and addresses of Bush family members and friends.
The website displayed photos it said came from the hacker, including one that purported to show the elder Bush during his recent near-two-month stay in a Houston hospital where the 88-year-old was treated for complications arising from a bronchial infection.
The authenticity of the photos and other details on the website could not immediately be confirmed. A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush declined to comment on the reports.
"There's a criminal investigation and, as such, there's nothing else we can say," Jim McGrath told The Associated Press Friday.
The FBI in Houston was similarly tight-lipped.
"We do not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation," Houston FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said Friday.
Freddy Ford, a spokesman for former President George W. Bush, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment by The Associated Press.
The word "Guccifer" is plastered across the photos published on the Smoking Gun website in translucent, neon blue print. The website quotes "Guccifer" as describing himself as a veteran hacker who has long been in the government's sights.
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