NBC News reported Russian hackers have compromised computers at the Pentagon, an unclassified email system has been shut down in response of the attack.
According to the NBC news, US officials have reported that Russia launched a “sophisticated cyberattack” against the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system. The unclassified email system has been shut down and taken offline for two weeks. The officials added that the cyber attack compromised data belonging to 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“According to the officials, the “sophisticated cyber intrusion” occurred sometime around July 25 and affected some 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” states the NCB news.
According to sources close the investigation, it appears the cyber attack relied on a sort of automated system that gathered a massive amount of information in a short time and within a minute distributed it to thousands of accounts on the Internet. The officials also speculate on the possible source of the attack, they stated that Russian hackers are the responsible for the sophisticated intrusion that relied on “encrypted accounts on social media.”
The officials did not provide further information on the attackers, it is not clear if the Russian Government backed the hackers. The nature of the attack and of the chosen target suggest the involvement of a state actor as confirmed by the official.
“It was clearly the work of a state actor,” the officials say.
At the time I was writing no classified information was compromised by hackers, the attackers took over only unclassified email accounts.
The decision to shut down the email system is the response of the US Government to the attack, the system should be back online before the end of this week.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.