Chinese Hackers Repeatedly Hack White House Network

The <i>Financial Times</i> is reporting that Chinese hackers have repeatedly nabbed e-mails between government officials.

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The Financial Times is reporting that Chinese hackers have repeatedly nabbed e-mails between government officials.Earlier this year, Chinese officials rebuked claims that any attacks aimed at federal systems were launched by government-backed Chinese hackers. However, an unnamed U.S. government official has this to say to the Financial Times: "We are getting very targeted Chinese attacks so it stretches credulity that these are not directed by government-related organisations," said the official.

The National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, a unit established in 2007 to tackle security, detected the attacks. The official stressed the hackers had accessed only the unclassified computer network, and not the more secure classified network.

"For a short period of time, they successfully breach a wall, and then you rebuild the wall . . . it is not as if they have continued access," said the official. "It is constant cat and mouse on this stuff."

Government, and corporate-sponsored, hackers are a growing concern. What makes them potentially more dangerous is that governments and corporations have deep pockets, can hire teams of specialists, and can afford to keep knocking away at a network, dumpster dive for documents, social engineer, maybe even work an employee or contractor to hand over data -- eventually they'll get in.

Last week, a U.K. IT security defense leader warned that U.K. interests were under steady attack. While last month, a Government Accountability Office's report found the federal government's IT security to be wanting.

When you have a motivated attacker targeting a disjointed, unfocused defender, it doesn't take a genius to deduce the outcome.

About the Author(s)

George V. Hulme, Contributing Writer

An award winning writer and journalist, for more than 20 years George Hulme has written about business, technology, and IT security topics. He currently freelances for a wide range of publications, and is security blogger at

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