White House Conveniently Confirms 'Cyberattack' Story Just As Its Pushing Cybersecurity Exec Order

from the coincidence... dept

A "conservative" website apparently reported that Chinese hackers broke into a White House military office computer system with a "spear-phishing attack (like regular phishing, but directly targeted at a victim)". The White House has confirmed the story while saying that nothing sensitive was accessed:
A White House official speaking on background late Sunday confirmed there was an attempted hack but said that it affected an unclassified network, was “isolated” and that there was no evidence that any data had been stolen.
I'm not a huge fan of any sort of conspiracy theories, but it does seem questionable that this comes out just as the White House is circulating an executive order dealing with "cybersecurity," and so soon after the administration's preferred Cybersecurity Act got rejected by the Senate. The Free Beacon website that first broke the story seems to use it to suggest that the administration is "soft" on security -- though it was conservatives in the Senate who blocked the Cybersecurity Act from passing in the first place.

Either way, it seems likely that people are trying to hack into key networks all the time. This doesn't sound like much of a big deal, but the fact that the White House is confirming the news just as it's pushing this exec order (while still hoping to get legislation through in the lame duck session), at least makes you wonder if the whole thing isn't being "leaked" on purpose to get cybersecurity stories back into the press to push for the exec order or for a revival of the bill.

Filed Under: china, cyberattack, cybersecurity, white house


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2012 @ 8:26am

    They probably got an email with a batch file attached and they alerted the bomb squad to detonate the offending computer.

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