Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Did the Chinese government sponsor White House cyberattacks?

Chinese hackers have been able to successfully attack the White House computer network and obtain email messages between United States' government officials, the Financial Times reported Friday, citing a senior U.S. official.

This shows America might so far be on the losing end of a "cyberspace race," warned one security CEO inreaction to reports of the hack.

Details of the attacks are vague but intruders apparently were able to penetrate the White House computer network and obtain unclassified email messages during multiple, though brief, periods of time, the newspaper reported. After each incident the network was patched.

The discovery was credited to the National Cyber Instigative Joint Task Force, headed up by the FBI. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, and the White House did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Sami Saydjari, CEO of the Cyber Defense Agency, a company that provides security consulting to governments, told Friday that he believes the Chinese government could be responsible for the attack.

Saydjari said that, in what he calls the cyberspace race — which he likened to a cyberarms race — America may be behind countries such as China and Russia.

“I think we haven't made the proper investments in technology over the past few years,” Saydjari said.

Michael Markulec, COO of Lumeta, a company that provides network security solutions enterprise and government agencies, told Friday that attacks such as this are not uncommon.

“The threat is real, this is not the first time we've seen this and I would argue that in some cases, it's state sponsored,” said Markulec. 

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