US Joint Chiefs of Staff emails targeted by Russian hackers

Reports say it was the same group that targeted the State Department and White House

The hacking group that targeted unclassified email systems at the U.S. Department of State and the White House is believed to have also compromised a network used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a body of senior U.S. military leaders.

The email system used by the group was compromised in the last week of July, according to reports by NBC News and the Daily Beast. NBC said it affected around 4,000 staff who work at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Targets were said to have been sent spear phishing emails -- customized messages that likely appeared to come from trusted contacts with embedded links to documents or other content. When clicked, those links would have resulted in the download of malware that compromised their computers.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff has not said anything publically about the breach, but news reports said investigators believe it to be the work of a Russian hacker group. The same group got inside the State Department's unclassified system last year and also accessed parts of the White House network, gaining access to some correspondence sent and received by President Obama.

Within the U.S. government, classified material is carried on networks physically separate from the Internet and there is no suggestion that these were compromised. Still, access to an unclassified network could still allow attackers to gain access to material that is sensitive.

Last week, the Daily Beast reported that the Department of Defense had warned at least five Department of Defense computer users had been targeted by hackers in recent weeks.

The email apparently came from the National Endowment for Democracy and contained a link to a compromised server on its network where the malware was hosted.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsecuritymalwareintrusionDesktop securityJoint Chiefs of Staff

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

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

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?