US State Department Classified Systems Hit by Hackers - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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US State Department Classified Systems Hit by Hackers

On Sunday, US state department fourth government agency to announce a breach of its computer systems in recent weeks, after an infiltration forced the agency to temporarily shut down its unclassified email system and public websites.

The breach was discovered when "activity of concern" was detected on the State Department's computer system. There's no word on how long hackers may have had access, but it is reported that security improvements were being made  as of Sunday.

It's the fourth such compromise in recent months, with computer systems at the White House, the United States Postal Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration being affected.

During the outage, personnel within the department were using Gmail accounts, according to the Washington Post. Security improvements are currently taking place and the system is expected to be back online on Monday or Tuesday.

It is not known who may have carried out the attack, though previous breaches have been blamed on Chinese or Russian hackers. However, there has been no concrete evidence that Beijing or Moscow is behind this latest incident.

According RT, a White House official said a cyber-attack was detected on a computer system used by the Executive Office of the President (EOP).

"In the course of assessing recent threats we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network. Any such activity is something that we take very seriously. In this case we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity," the official told Reuters.

The White House is often the target of hackers, but the one revealed in late October had a more significant duration, affecting the system’s functionality for nearly two weeks.

“Certainly a variety of actors find our networks attractive targets and seek to access to sensitive government information. We are still assessing the activity of concern, and we are not in a position to provide any additional details at this time,” a White House official said in a statement in October.

The US spends in the region of $10 billion a year to protect its systems from hackers; however AP’s investigation has found that despite the massive resources at their disposal, the efforts have been largely unsuccessful. 

Federal agents and contractors alike are all too guilty of letting systems become infected by clicking bogus links, accidentally installing malware or otherwise opening up networks to hackers by way of their own inept operational security.

Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter