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Homeland Security

White House: Cyberattack Thwarted

RIA Novosti

21:03 01/10/2012 WASHINGTON, DC, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - The White House has confirmed an attempted cyberattack on its computer systems, but says no harm was done, according to media reports.

“This was a spear phishing attack against an unclassified network,” said an Obama administration national security official who was not authorized to speak on the record about the attack.

The conservative website The Washington Free Beacon reported Sunday night that the Chinese government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks. Shortly after the article was published, according to various media reports, a White House official contacted several media outlets confirming that an attack had been identified, but adding assurances that the system was isolated to prevent any spread.

The White House refused to comment on the origin of the attack and whether or not there was any link to China.

The White House official also said there was no indication that any data had been removed and that none of the White House’s secure or classified computer systems were affected.

Spear phishing, the tactic apparently used in this attack, is when a hacker sends an email that appears to be from a trusted source, but in actuality contains infected hyperlinks or attachments. When downloaded, the attachments hack into the user’s computer systems.

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