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Ear to the Ground

White House Confirms Cyberattack, Won’t Blame China

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Posted on Oct 1, 2012
Illustration based on a photo by White House/Lawrence Jackson

Off the record, the administration has confirmed an Internet-based attack on the White House, but says “These types of attacks are not infrequent and we have mitigation measures in place.”

The conservative website The Washington Free Beacon attributed the attack to China, citing “defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.”

According to the BBC, the White House would not confirm Chinese involvement. China and Russia are often blamed for major cyberattacks due to their well-known prowess in network espionage.

Here’s what the Free Beacon reported Sunday:

U.S. officials familiar with reports of the White House hacking incident said it took place earlier this month and involved unidentified hackers, believed to have used computer servers in China, who accessed the computer network used by the White House Military Office (WHMO), the president’s military office in charge of some of the government’s most sensitive communications, including strategic nuclear commands. The office also arranges presidential communications and travel, and inter-government teleconferences involving senior policy and intelligence officials.

An Obama administration national security official said: “This was a spear phishing attack against an unclassified network.”

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. 

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