In a shocking revelation by the New York Times, the newspaper has claimed that several of President Obama’s email correspondence were read by Russian hackers after they managed to hack in to the White House computer systems.
According to the report, the cyber break-in, which happened last year, is now thought to be far more intrusive than what it was originally thought to be. The report adds that the Russian hackers also managed to hack into the State Department’s unclassified networks. They were, however, not able to get through the highly secure security systems in place for the BlackBerry that President Obama carries with him all the time. What the Russian hackers did manage to access were email archives of the communication that President Obama had with people inside the White House.
Meanwhile, White House officials have reiterated that none of its classified networks were compromised by the Russian hackers. They added that the hack only affected systems that were connected to the rest of the world and were used for unclassified communication between officials. The White House and several important offices usually have two computers, with one of them operating on a highly secure, classified network that is nearly impossible to break in to, reports The Huffington Post. The other computers are on a less secure network and are used for day-to-day communications. However, concerns have been raised after it was revealed that often, officials are known to use the unclassified networks to send highly classified information.
According to several sources, the Russian hackers who managed to execute this security breach did so under the influence of the Russian government. Many experts are of the opinion that they are working under the directions of the Russian government. While senior White House and government officials knew about the breach, it is only now that the information has been disseminated to the public at large. According to a senior government official, the methods used by the Russian hackers to break into the White House networks is considered to be be very sophisticated. The fact that the Russian government could be behind this only makes the act more worrisome.
The successful attempt at breaking into the White House computers by Russian hackers happened at the height of the Crimean crisis when both Russia and the U.S. were at loggerheads. Tensions between the two country rose and scenes reminiscent of the Cold War period were being played out. President Obama has been targeted by Russian hackers in the past too. In the past, Chinese hackers were able to hit his 2008 election campaign.
Further information regarding the identities of the people who are thought to be behind this hack remain a mystery. White House and government officials have declined to comment. On earlier occasions too, officials have chosen to remain tight lipped about such details since they believe that such revelations are not in the best interest of the country.
The news of the possible cyber security breach at the White House by Russian hackers comes at a time when questions were being raised on the physical security aspects of the White House. Last week, the Inquisitr had reported about yet another instance of a fence jumper attempting to scale the boundary walls of the presidential residence.
[Image via NBC]