Security Breaches (Updated)

Richard Koman has a sobering review of recent security breaches of the Obama and McCain campaigns’ computer systems as well as the White House computer system. Apparently, these were non-trivial and systematic attacks perpetrated by China an unnamed country.

With cyber-attacks becoming a routine part of international espionage and general mischief-making, it’s an area that should receive substantially more attention than it’s obviously received to date.


More on the White House security breach(es) from the Financial Times:

Chinese hackers have penetrated the White House computer network on multiple occasions, and obtained e-mails between government officials, a senior US official told the Financial Times.

On each occasion, the cyber attackers accessed the White House computer system for brief periods, allowing them enough time to steal information before US computer experts patched the system.

US government cyber intelligence experts suspect the attacks were sponsored by the Chinese government because of their targeted nature. But they concede that it is extremely difficult to trace the exact source of an attack beyond a server in a particular country.

“We are getting very targeted Chinese attacks so it stretches credulity that these are not directed by government-related organisations,” said the official.

The official said the Chinese cyber attacks had the hallmarks of the “grain of sands” approach taken by Chinese intelligence, which involves obtaining and pouring through lots of – often low-level – information to find a few nuggets.

The article goes on to point out that only the unclassified computer system has been breached, not the classified one. And, of course, all U. S. officials are perfectly compliant in only using putting sensitive information out on the secured, classified computer system.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Brett says:

    Indeed. Why aren’t we counter-hacking the Chinese government (or are we)? I would think that in an increasingly networked era, this type of thing would be paramount (and perhaps it is, considering that the FBI showed up pretty quick).

    I think what we could really do to screw with the Chinese would be pranks – like hacking and bringing down the Great Firewall of China.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Whose economy has more to lose in a tit for tat cyberwar? Whose are more tied to online transactions? China’s? I think not. Most of the Chinese use the internet to IM or play games.

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    Ever play Generals Zero Hour, lol.

  4. Michael says:

    Can we finally start encrypting all communication, even if it’s not classified?

  5. Brett says:

    For that matter, they really ought to get after people for doing stupid stuff like talking about classified matters on unclassified networks (no AOL accounts!). “Physically separated networks”, people!

  6. Rick Almeida says:

    Indeed. Why aren’t we counter-hacking the Chinese government (or are we)?

    I would be surprised if we weren’t.

  7. Gippergal says:

    I had a professor in college who ground into us the importance of recognizing the communist method: three steps forward, two steps back.

    This kind of thing is outrageous, and I still get steamed when I think of Bill Clinton giving them “Most Favored Nation” status.

    The war on terror is causing U.S. citizens to think that the only threat is from al-Quaeda or the Middle East.

    But as long as China remains red, and as long as Putin has his long, probing fingers around the throats of Russia’s neighbors, the U.S. remains threatened by the spectre of communism, as well.

    The liberal illuminati can try to ignore it, and sing kum-by-ah with the world, but, in fact, the nation that stocks discount shelves with cheap products does not, in fact, have our best interest at heart!