Nextgov.com reports that the personal Gmail accounts of three White House staffers were recently breached (h/t E Hacking News).

The hackers then used the three accounts to target more than a dozen other White House employees with phishing e-mails designed to acquire their Twitter login information and e-mail passwords -- the e-mails were disguised as BBC and CNN articles, but contained links leading to fake Twitter and Gmail login pages.

According to E Hacking News, the attacks were launched by members of the Syrian Electronic Army, who posted on Twitter what they claimed were the user name and password for the White House's Twitter account.

Cyber researchers told Nextgov.com that the attackers' aims could be to access sensitive information, to monitor government communications, and/or to spread misinformation via Twitter.