Russians Blamed For White House Network Breach

Unnamed sources told the Washington Post on Tuesday that hackers broke into the unclassified computer network of the White House. So far there's no evidence that the hackers gained access to the classified network or damaged any computers. However, the investigation is ongoing and involves the FBI, Secret Service and National Security Agency.

"Certainly a variety of actors find our networks to be attractive targets and seek access to sensitive information," a White House official told The Washington Post. "We are still assessing the activity of concern."

According to the report, an ally informed the U.S. government of the breach. The problem was actually discovered several weeks ago, and caused some White House staff members to change their passwords. Sources said that while cybersecurity teams worked to contain the breach, the Intranet and VPN were shut down for a while, but the email system remained up and running.

A White House official indicated that it's not uncommon to see "bad actors" trying to break into the White House networks. The government is constantly battling these invaders who seek out sensitive information.

So who is behind the White House breach? The government is keeping quiet on that front and is also refusing to comment on how much data was stolen.

However, the Washington Post indicates that the Russian government may be behind the White House breach, a theory based on recent cyberespionage campaigns carried out by Russian hackers, which are believed to be tied to the Russian government. The sources seem to agree, saying that the White House breach is similar to a "state-sponsored campaign."

This wouldn't be the first time the Russian intelligence service was accused of breaking into a U.S. government network. The Russian government supposedly broke into the U.S. military's classified networks back in 2008. This led to the formation of the U.S. Cyber Command, which is now dedicated to defending critical computer systems located in the government and the private sector.

What's disturbing here is that an ally of the United States informed the government of the White House breach. Even though the hack supposedly took place on the unclassified network, it's still unnerving to think that the White House security didn't detect a thing. The White House may need to re-evaluate its cyber defense system.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • Avus
    if(US gov has something failed)
    Blame Chinese gov
    Blame Russian gov
  • derekullo
    How dare the Russians turn on the water sprinklers while President Obama plays golf.
  • coffeecoffee
    Alright right guys! The Trolling match between the US and Russia continues! Ding Ding! Round 1,218 FIGHT! :D
  • coolestcarl
    Sometimes I wonder why is this even "news". Or "newsworthy". Every government is involved with espionage. It is just part of statecraft. That is just lazy journalism, I mean I could be a journalist too... "Whitehouse spies on Kremlin, officials deny that anything important was stolen (because that just makes them look incompetent)". "China spies on India", "Iran spies on Israel"... Heck "My neighbour spies on me (to find out why my melons look better)". Successful espionage by its very definition does not get public airtime.
  • Mac266
    The USA responds "We will impose sanctions!" (Read: We aren't talking to you anymore)
  • spentshells
    Please provide proof, No? Then i guess you really have no idea what happenned. Cant discuss it for security reasons? Don't announce it. Propaganda, sure it is.
  • punahou1
    So someone broke into the unclassified network. What did they steal? Recipes or the dog walking schedule?
  • coolitic
    Watch obama's political oponents be paying the russian govt to spy on obama.
  • leoscott
    "and caused some White House staff members to change their passwords." I thought this was a tech aware WH. Aren't they changing their passwords on a regular basis already?
  • Ning3n
    Strike out the "White house" part of things... and this becomes "Russia hacked into a public network where no major information was stored"..... Another day... another news story determined to gain "likes" on facebook, and airtime on the idiot box.