Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hackers Who Breached White House Network Allegedly Accessed Sensitive Data


Whitehouse
Hackers Breached White House Network


According to recent story published by CNN, Russian government hackers have breached the White House’s computer systems late last year and have gained access to sensitive details though the US officials disagree with it. The officials had stated earlier, that in October, the White House breach had only affected an unclassified network, though sources informed CNN that the hackers had gained access to real time non-public details of the president’s schedule.

 The sources also informed CNN that the hackers were the same ones who were behind a damaging cyber-attack on the US Department of State at the same time last year, which forced the department to close down its email system for an extended period of time. The connected cyber-attack on the State Department recently has been characterized as the worst hack on a federal agency. The White House is not unfamiliar to attacks from foreign spies.

 The Chinese have been associated in many high profile attacks of White House unclassified systems together with employee emails. Reports of the breach came in as government official have become more concerned with regards to cyber threats from Russia. James Clapper, FBI director informed Senate committee in February that `the Russian cyber threat is more severe than they had earlier assessed’.

Immediate Measures to Evaluate/Mitigate Activity

Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser stated that the breached White House system had no sensitive data. He informed CNN that they had an unclassified system and a classified system, a top secret system. And that they do not believe that their classified systems were compromised.

A White House spokesperson who tried to restrain the report informed that it was based on a security breach which was already revealed to the public. Spokesperson, Mark Stroh, informed the media, that this report was not referred to a new incident and any such activity was something which was taken seriously and in this case, they had made it clear at that time and had taken immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity.

He also informed that as officials did last year, the US would not comment on who could have been behind the attacks. Investigating the security breaches are the Secret Service, FBI and US Intelligent agencies which according to CNN sources say were the outcome of one of the most sophisticated cyber-attacks that was ever directed at US government agencies.

Theft of Private Data – Government/Corporation/Individuals 

The recent report comes amid hacker thefts of private data related to governments, corporations as well as individuals, from sensitive emails to medical reports to financial information and possession of these data could tend to be of great importance to either enable criminal acts or assistance in government spying.

As per a senior department official, none of the department’s classified email system in the State Department breach was affected at that time though hackers used that breach to break into the White House’s network as reported by CNN.

The security researchers were under suspicion after the White House security breach was revealed in October, that hackers working for the Russian government were the cause of both the attacks according to the story of Washington Post and inspite of efforts beingmade by the State Department to safeguard its security, hackers were capable of accessing the system with the result that the network was owned for months by Russian hackers.

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