Tags: Emerging Threats | cyberattack | hackers | state department | computers

Hackers Attack State Dept. 'Thousands of Times a Day': Official

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 11:08 AM

The State Department puts at "thousands of times a day" the number of hacking attempts that are launched on its computer networks, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick offered such revelations before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Tuesday, saying the impact of such security attacks has been felt within his department, the Free Beacon said.

"There is evidence [the department's network] has been attacked, and it has affected us," Linick said.

His deputy secretary, Heather Higginbottom, described the cyberattacks as broad and ongoing.

"We are attacked every day, thousands of times a day," Higginbottom said in Senate testimony. "So we have to work — those are difficult issues, but we're looking at that now and examining it. It's also important that we understand the costs."

She added during questioning from Georgia Sen. David Perdue: "I can tell you, senator, that we have been breached."

Her comments before Congress about the breaches come months after an internal email system was shut down at the State Department because of such attacks, the Free Beacon reported.

Said Perdue of lawmakers' concerns: "These persistent, daily attacks on State Department's networks demonstrate the urgency for the Inspector General to have an independent network so his team can conduct oversight and investigations of the State Department."

He added of his fears of internal compromise of information: "There are thousands of administrators that work for State, who have the ability to modify or delete information, and could even pose as IG employees. This certainly is an issue for an IG who needs to conduct sensitive and confidential investigations."

The cyberattack revelations are just the latest concerns of federal officials over breaches to sensitive government data. Earlier this month, details emerged that the White House's  computer system may have been penetrated by Russian government hackers, CNN reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such claims, the Moscow Times reported.

"We know that blaming Russia for everything has turned into a sport," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Times. "At least they haven't looked for Russian submarines in [Washington's] Potomac River, as has been the case in a few other countries."

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The State Department puts at "thousands of times a day" the number of hacking attempts that are launched on its computer networks, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
cyberattack, hackers, state department, computers
359
2015-08-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 11:08 AM
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