Rus­sian hack­ers read Obama emails: re­port

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Emails to and from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama were read by Rus­sian hack­ers last year in a breach of the White House’s un­clas­si­fied com­puter sys­tem, The New York Times said Satur­day.

Ear­lier this month, U.S. of­fi­cials ad­mit­ted there was a cy­ber “event” late last year, but re­fused to con­firm re­ports Rus­sia was be­hind the attack.

How­ever the in­cur­sion was “far more in­tru­sive and wor­ri­some” than pub­licly ac­knowl­edged, the news­pa­per said, cit­ing se­nior Amer­i­can of­fi­cials briefed on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and say­ing the hack­ers were pre­sumed to be linked to — or even work­ing for — Moscow.

The hack­ers, who also got into the State Depart­ment’s un­clas­si­fied sys­tem, ob­tained ac­cess to the email ar­chives of peo­ple in­side the White House, and per­haps some out­side, with whom Obama reg­u­larly com­mu­ni­cated, the Times said.

It was from those ac­counts that they reached emails that the pres­i­dent had sent and re­ceived, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cials.

The hack­ers did not ap­pear to have pen­e­trated the servers that con­trol the mes­sage traf­fic from Obama’s Black­Berry and the White House has said that no clas­si­fied net­works were com­pro­mised.

“But of­fi­cials have con­ceded that the un­clas­si­fied sys­tem rou­tinely con­tains much in­for­ma­tion that is con­sid­ered highly sen­si­tive: sched­ules, email ex­changes with am­bas- sadors and diplo­mats, dis­cus­sions of pending per­son­nel moves and leg­is­la­tion, and, in­evitably, some de­bate about pol­icy,” the Times re­ported.

It was not clear how many of Obama’s emails were read, the Times said, adding that his email ac­count it­self did not ap­pear to have been hacked.

“Still, the fact that Mr. Obama’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions were among those hit by the hack­ers — who are pre­sumed to be linked to the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment, if not work­ing for it — has been one of the most closely held find­ings of the in­quiry,” the news­pa­per said.

“It’s the Rus­sian an­gle to this that’s par­tic­u­larly wor­ri­some,” a se­nior of­fi­cial was quoted as say­ing.

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