After 3 Months, Hackers Still Plaguing State Dept.
Malware keeps getting tweaked, insiders say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2015 11:20 PM CST
Updated Feb 20, 2015 3:30 AM CST
The size of the network is making it very difficult to declare the State Department hacker-free, insiders say.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – The hackers that got into the State Department's unclassified email system three months ago are still there, and they seem to be harder to get rid of than bedbugs, insiders say. Investigators believe the hackers first got into the network through an infected link in an email that spread malware throughout the department's systems worldwide, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Despite repeated attempts to clear the system with the help of the NSA and outside contractors, the hackers keep trying to sneak back in with altered versions of the code.

Multiple sources tell the Journal that the hack appears to be linked to the Russian government, and some of the emails taken were related to the Ukraine crisis. But Russian government hackers are believed to have capabilities close to those of the highly advanced US ones, a report from Kaspersky Lab exposed this week, so investigators aren't sure why they were even able to detect the hack. One insider says it appears that Moscow either sent its "B-team," or it wanted to send Washington a message by not covering its tracks.