American officials close to the investigation told the Times that some of President Obama’s emails were breached.
In the same article, White House officials state that no classified networks were breached and that only the unclassified servers were compromised.
“Officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive: schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, discussions of pending personnel moves and legislation, and, inevitably, some debate about policy,” says Michael S. Schmidt and David Sanger of the Times.
Investigators believe that the cyberattacks bear the tell-tale signature of Russian hackers and that the breach began in the State Department computer system.
When the breach was discovered, the White House email system was shutdown until the hackers were removed sometime around the end of October.
“This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen,” said one senior American official.
Everyday, the White House and other U.S. government systems are hit with a flurry of attacks from Russia, China and others. Most do not breach the government’s cyber defences.
A close friend of the President told the Times that Obama has used his Blackberry less over the past six-months, but did not know if that was related to the recent attacks.
All classified U.S. government communication takes place through the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, JWICS for short.
Officials investigating these cyberattacks say that there is no evidence that Jwics was breached.
[New York Times]