Rus­sian hack­ers hit Pen­tagon sys­tem: re­port

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Hack­ers based in Rus­sia pen­e­trated the email net­work of the U.S. Depart­ment of De­fense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, lead­ing to a twoweek shut­down of the sys­tem, NBC News re­ported Thurs­day.

The Pen­tagon con­firmed that the Joint Chiefs’ email sys­tem was taken off­line pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion but de­clined to elab­o­rate.

“We con­tinue to iden­tify and mit­i­gate cy­ber­se­cu­rity risks across our net­works,” Pen­tagon spokes­woman Lt. Col. Va­lerie Hen­der­son said.

“With those goals in mind, we have taken the Joint Staff net­work down and con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate. Our top pri­or­ity is to re­store ser­vices as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“As a mat­ter of pol­icy and for op­er­a­tional se­cu­rity rea­sons, we do not com­ment on the de­tails of cy­ber in­ci­dents or at­tacks against our net­works.”

NBC, cit­ing un­named sources, said it was not clear if the at­tack had been sanc­tioned by the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment.

But the sources told the net­work that the cy­ber­at­tack re­lied on an au­to­mated sys­tem that rapidly gath­ered mas­sive amounts of data.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials who de­clined to be iden­ti­fied, the in­tru­sion oc­curred around July 25 and af­fect- ed some 4,000 mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­son­nel, NBC said.

The of­fi­cials said no clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion was seized or com­pro­mised but that the U.S. De­fense Depart­ment de­cided to shut down the en­tire email sys­tem dur­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The news comes af­ter U.S. of­fi­cials con­firmed some 21 mil­lion U.S. gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, con­trac­tors and oth­ers had per­sonal in­for­ma­tion com­pro­mised in two breaches.

Of­fi­cials have de­clined to iden­tify the source of the hack of per­son­nel records but it is widely be­lieved to be part of a Chi­nese es­pi­onage pro­gram.

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