Russian hackers accessed White House email, report says

Non-public details of President Obama's schedule were accessed, CNN reported

Hackers working for the Russian government were able to access President Obama's email system inside the White House, CNN reported Tuesday, indicating that an earlier breach may have been more serious than previously thought.

The State Department and the White House said late last year they had seen suspicious activity in their networks, though the White House said at the time only unclassified systems were affected. That may have been true, but it understated the sensitivity of the information accessed, CNN reported Tuesday, citing unnamed U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

While the White House designates its email system as "unclassified," it still contains sensitive information that could be valuable to foreign spies. The information accessed included real-time, non-public details about Obama's schedule, CNN reported.

The Russian hackers used their earlier breach of the State Department's network as a "perch" from which to access the White House computer systems, CNN said.

A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council played down the significance of the CNN report, calling it speculation about a previously disclosed breach.

"Any such activity is something we take very seriously. In this case, as we made clear at the time, we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity," said spokesman Mark Stroh.

The National Security Council will not comment on CNN's "attribution to specific actors, he said.

The White House does not believe its classified systems, which contain national security information, were compromised, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told CNN in an interview.

The earlier breach of the State Department is believed to have been carried out using a phishing email targeting a State Department email account.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityprivacyinternetvideodata protectionInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?