Russian Hackers In White House Systems For Months, Kremlin Denies Any Wrongdoing

Russian hackers infiltrated systems at the White House for several months last year, according to U.S. officials. The hackers reportedly used a cyber intrusion into the State Department to gain access to the White House. The Kremlin denied the report.

CNN first broke the story, explaining that Russia got into non-confidential systems, but still had access to valuable data not available to the public, including real-time information on the president’s schedule.

The White House acknowledged the hacking last October, but according to CNN, they continue to downplay the cyber-attack.

According to ABC News, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes explained the hacking highlights the reason they have a classified system, which is still safe.

“We’ve spoken to the fact that there was an event last year. There’s always vulnerability and the fact is, that’s why we have a classified system, because there’s less risk on the classified system that is secure.”

Officials in the FBI, Secret Service, and U.S. intelligence agencies described the hack as one of the most sophisticated attacks against U.S. government agencies in recent history. Like with most cyber-attacks, the hackers went through a number of other computer systems to hide their tracks, but they still left clear signs that it originated from hackers working for the Russian government.

Attacks on U.S. systems have increased greatly since U.S.-Russian relations deteriorated over the Ukraine crisis.

According to RT, Russia has officially denied any wrongdoing, and questioned CNN’s sources.

“In regard to CNN’s sources, I don’t know who their sources are. We know that blaming everything on Russia has already turned into some sort of sport. But what’s most important is that they aren’t looking for any submarines in the Potomac River like has been seen in other countries.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Swedish officials tried to hunt down what they believed to be a Russian submarine trespassing in their territorial waters. The sub proved to be too stealthy for the Swedish navy, and Russia claims it never existed at all.

Officials report the most recent hack not only came from Russia, but it might not even be over. One source said the Russian hackers “owned” the State Department computers for months, and they still haven’t been able to completely eradicate them.

In the future, the Russian hackers might be able to re-use their access to the State Department to again infiltrate the White House systems. To what end remains unclear.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]