Russians Eyed in White House Hack

Unclassified networks breached, US thinks it might be the Russians
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2014 8:38 AM CDT
Russians Eyed in White House Hack
The sun rises over the White House in Washington on Oct. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Land of the free, home of the hacked? Just hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that a cybersecurity firm found breaches in the networks of a US firm holding military secrets, it's been revealed the White House has apparently been hacked as well. Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Washington Post say that unclassified computer networks in the White House were hacked "in recent weeks," though no systems were said to be damaged and the classified networks were reportedly untouched. The suspected perps? Workers for the Russian government, which has also been linked to a major hacking operation that spied on NATO, Ukraine, and the EU. No one's commenting yet on how much data was possibly swiped. An "ally" supposedly let the US know of the breach, which was found two to three weeks ago and is now being checked out by the Secret Service, FBI, and NSA.

Sources say that intranet and VPN access was taken offline for a bit, and some employees had to change their passwords, but the White House email system remained mostly functional during the investigation. The development, while troubling, isn't terribly surprising. "On a regular basis, there are bad actors out there who are attempting to achieve intrusions into our system," one of the WH officials tells the Post. "It's always a concern for us that individuals are trying to compromise systems and get access to our networks." A US official also notes to the Journal that it's hard for investigators to figure out who's doing the hacking in Russia, since criminal individuals and the Russian government often use the same cybersurveillance tools. (Not everyone's stressed about Russian hacks.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.