Dubious cyber activity is identified on the computer network of White House by US Government. A White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed that hackers attacked an unclassified computer network in use by the Executive Office of the US President. Washington Post, when reached for information on who could be behind the attack, has referred to a group of hackers who were reportedly working for the Russian government.
Though no severe damage has been reported on any system, but the security breach sure had caused disruption on some services, according to the Washington Post. Technical procedures have been adopted to counter the security breach activity which intruded to the restricted access to EOP network services. The White House official stated that “In the course of assessing recent threats we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network.” He continued that “Any such activity is something that we take very seriously. In this case we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity.” Some security issues are addressed, the work investigation and procedures is continuing for detection of further attacks. The official reported “Our actions are ongoing and some of our actions have resulted in temporary outages and loss of connectivity for some EOP users. Our computers and systems have not been damaged, though some elements of the unclassified network have been affected. The temporary outages and loss of connectivity for our users is solely the result of measures we have taken to defend our networks. Certainly, a variety of actors find our networks to be attractive targets and seek access to sensitive information. We are still assessing the activity of concern. Another White House official claimed that “On a regular basis, there are bad actors out there who are attempting to achieve intrusions into our system. This is a constant battle for the government and our sensitive government computer systems, so it’s always a concern for us that individuals are trying to compromise systems and get access to our networks.”
The Washington Post reported that “Recent reports by security firms have identified cyber-espionage campaigns by Russian hackers thought to be working for the government. Targets have included NATO, the Ukrainian government and U.S. defense contractors. Russia is regarded by U.S. officials as being in the top tier of states with cyber-capabilities.” White House officials have quoted that the e-mail service has been slow as the White House had to send a statement through an different route “due to system delays.” on Oct. 19.
Information analysts were not shocked by the White House security breach attack as they had cautioned all governments need to be guarded. Gerry Grealish of the cloud security provider Perspecsys said that “Foreign government-sponsored hackers are a very real threat to public and private sector IT networks. Today’s cyber attacks are better funded, more aggressive and sophisticated, and can come from a myriad of external and internal sources.” While another spokesperson from the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., Ben FitzGerald, said that US government are likely to witness cyber-attack. He said that security measures depend on “how quickly intrusions are detected and mitigated, rather than whether or not they occur.”