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White House officials say classified systems remained protected during phishing attack

02 Oct 2012
Front of the White House

US officials have confirmed that no critical systems were breached during a high-profile phishing attack on White House systems.

According to a statement sent to pressthe attack was found and isolated before any data was stolen. The statement comes following widespread reports of a cyber-espionage attack on White House nuclear systems by China.

"In this instance the attack was identified, the system was isolated, and there is no indication whatsoever that any exfiltration of data took place," a White House official said in a statement to The Hill.

"Moreover, there was never any impact or attempted breach of any classified system."

The White House statement comes following reports that hackers working for the Chinese government attempted to hack into the White House Military Office (WHMO).

According to the White House website the WHMO provides "military support for White House functions, including food service, presidential transportation, medical support, emergency medical services, and hospitality services."

Original reports stated that the attack on the WHMO attempted to infiltrate systems which housed US nuclear codes. White House officials have not said whether nuclear codes fall under the WHMO's purview. 

The White House statement also does not identify who attempted the attack on its systems.

This is not the first time China has been accused of hacking governmental institutions. In 2007 the Pentagon accused China of hacking its computer systems.

As previously reported, officials have confirmed that the attack took place using a spear phishing attack. Spear phishing attacks are done by sending forged emails to users who mistakenly click on a link or attachment which leads to a breach of systems.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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