Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/07/white_house_email_china/

White House network pwned 'multiple' times by Chinese

'It is not as if they have continued access...'

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Security, 7th November 2008 15:56 GMT

US officials say Chinese hackers have raided White House email archives multiple times, according to a report.

The Financial Times reports some people it describes as "US government cyber experts" suspect the raids were sponsored by the Chinese regime.

"We are getting very targeted Chinese attacks so it stretches credulity that these are not directed by government-related organisations," an unnamed source opined.

Each attack cracked the unclassified network's defences for a short time. The classified network remained secure, we're assured by the FT's whispers.

"For a short period of time, they successfully breach a wall, and then you rebuild the wall  ...  it is not as if they have continued access. It is constant cat and mouse on this stuff," the source reportedly said. More here.

The FT's revelations came just days after Newsweek reported that both the Obama and McCain campaigns had been hacked from overseas, with large amounts of data downloaded, apparently in an attempt to track the candidates' evolving policy positions. This could of course potentially help the unnamed foreign entities in future negotiations.

The campaign attacks were picked up by the authorities, with the FBI and the Secret Service notifying the Obama campaign back in August that what staffers thought was a virus was something more sinister.

"You have a problem way bigger than what you understand," an FBI agent reportedly told Obama staff members. "You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system." ®