White House Hit by Cyber Attack


The White House today confirmed that it had thwarted an attempted cyber attack, without confirming the source of the attack itself.

"The conservative Washington Free Beacon reported Sunday that hackers believed to be associated with the Chinese government had breached a computer system used by the White House Military Office," writes The Hill's Jennifer Martinez. "A White House official confirmed an attempted cyber attack against an unclassified network, but declined to comment on its origins or whether it was at the military office. The hack was carried out through a 'spearphishing' attack, according to the official, which typically is triggered when a person clicks on a malware-infected link or file received via email."

"None of the White House’s secure, classified computer systems were affected, said the official, who reached out to Politico after the Free Beacon story appeared -- without having been asked for comment," writes Politico's Tim Mak. "Nor had there been any attempted breach of a classified system, according to the official."

"As Politico notes, the Washington Free Beacon, which broke the news of the attack, has a clear right wing agenda and has worked to portray the current administration as weak on foreign policy," writes Betabeat's Steve Huff. "The same site has also alleged that Russian nuclear subs were patrolling in U.S. territory, a charge denied by the Department of Defense."

"While spear phishing attempts are far from sophisticated, they are on the rise," notes ZDNet's Zack Whittaker. "But while the attack may worry those in Washington, both the Free Beacon and Politico -- despite on both sides of the political divide -- were both clear to state that no classified materials were taken."