White House Hit With Cyberattack
But no harm was done, official says
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2012 7:43 AM CDT
This Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 photo shows the White House in Washington, as President Barack Obama campaigns out of town.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The White House is confirming it was hit by a cyberattack, possibly from China, but the official who confirmed the attempt insists it was not serious. The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, first reported the attack last night, claiming that hackers linked to the Chinese government broke into a highly sensitive computer network in the White House Military Office used to house nuclear commands. But while the White House confirmed the attempted hack to Politico—which notes that it was without being asked—it said only an unclassified network was affected and that no harm had been done and no data was stolen during the "isolated" attack.

Further, the "spear phishing" attack—in which hackers attempt to get a recipient to download malware via an email using familiar phrases—did not even attempt to breach a classified system, the White House official said. The Free Beacon, on the other hand, called the cyberattack "one of Beijing's most brazen" against the US. It claimed, citing anonymous officials, the attack occurred last month, and said that it "highlights a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks." Past Free Beacon reports have also sought to cast Obama as weak on defense, Politico notes, including one report about a Russian nuclear attack submarine supposedly patrolling near the US. The Navy firmly denied that report.

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
Oct 1, 2012 10:36 PM CDT
Oct 1, 2012 9:41 PM CDT
Do you idiots seriously think the Pentegon is not up to speed on both the cyber attacks and any and all submarine locations. Why the hell do you think all those Congressional fights about the Defense budget stirs the pot so much. Get a grip folks! Headlines are meant to get your interest, read up on an issue for gods sake. Show everyone you have a brain.
Oct 1, 2012 2:04 PM CDT
Just because Barack isn't broadcasting this incident far and wide, doesn't mean he isn't dealing with it. His style is a lot more subtle than that.