updated 07:30 pm EDT, Mon October 1, 2012
Unclassified servers penetrated, isolated from rest of network
The US Government is attempting to cool down rumors that hackers linked to the Chinese government penetrated the White House Military Office's (WHMO) network. The WHMO is responsible for presidential travel arrangements, and all communications with military units from the White House. A White House source denies the allegation, claiming that the spear phishing attack hit an unclassified network associated with the military office, and there is no evidence any classified information was stolen.
A White House official said that "the attack was identified, the system was isolated and there is no indication whatsoever that any exfiltration of data took place. Moreover, there was never any impact or attempted breach of any classified system."
According to the White House website, the Military Office "oversees policy related to WHMO functions and Department of Defense assets and ensures that White House requirements are met with the highest standards of quality. The WHMO director oversees all military operations aboard Air Force One on presidential missions worldwide. The deputy director of the White House Military Office focuses primarily on the day-to-day support of the WHMO."
Electronista spoke with a member of the military associated with the White House Military Office who said that this kind of attack happens "all the time" and the White House information department is well-versed in countermeasures preventing any release of classified information. "We all get training from day one on data sanitization as well as keeping the classified material off the unclassified servers. It's really just a matter of training keeping the bad guys at bay."