Update: even the White House appears embarrassed by this "report." According to Bloomberg, the CNN report that Russia breached the White House computer system is "speculating on the attribution of the activity of concern on the unclassified" White House network that was “disclosed last year,” NSC spokesperson Mark Stroh says."This report is not referring to a new incident." Stroh says in e-mail statement.
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A few months ago, Sony used a ridiculous "hacking" publicity stunt to generate some $40 million more in revenues for what would otherwise have been the latest Seth Rogen "comic" flop, in which the film agency blamed North Korea - which has about ten ultramodern 80386 computers in the entire country - for hacking its firewall, a hack which was subsequently revealed to be the result of disgruntled former employee. Fast forward to today, when moments ago CNN reported that Russian hackers which according to left "tell-tale codes and other markers that they believe point to hackers working for the Russian government", had penetrated the White House computer system.
Of course, reading beyond just the first paragraph reveals that this was anything but an actual hack: as CNN reports, "the White House has said the breach only ever affected an unclassified system." So anyone could have accessed it really. But for the sake of the second cold war let's make it seem that Vladimir Putin has nothing better to do than to sift through Obama's golfing schedule and discover what his true handicap is. Although it's clearly time to declare war on Syria's Assad in retaliation.
The humor continues:
The hackers had access to sensitive information such as real-time non-public details of the president's schedule. While such information is not classified, it is still highly sensitive and prized by foreign intelligence agencies, U.S. officials say.
It is also, well, public. It was unclear if Putin is now also in possession of Obama's real birth certificate.
It gets better.
To get to the White House, the hackers first broke into the State Department, investigators believe.
The State Department computer system has been bedeviled by signs that despite efforts to lock them out, the Russian hackers have been able to reenter the system. One official says the Russian hackers have "owned" the State Department system for months and it is not clear the hackers have been fully eradicated from the system
It is settled then: clintonemail.com (and firstname.lastname@example.org) was more secure than the State Department. And to think people made fun of Hillary for taking the "less safe" route..
As in many hacks, investigators believe the White House intrusion began with a phishing email that was launched using a State Department email account that the hackers had taken over, according to the U.S. officials.
As in "click here if you want to add 7 inches to your penis..." or to download a free torrent of The Interview.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in a speech at an FBI cyberconference in January, warned government officials and private businesses to teach employees what "spear phishing" looks like.
"So many times, the Chinese and others get access to our systems just by pretending to be someone else and then asking for access, and someone gives it to them," Clapper said.
So all it takes to penetrate what should be the safest, and most protected computer system in the world is a phishing email. Check.
It gets even better:
The ferocity of the Russian intrusions in recent months caught U.S. officials by surprise, leading to a reassessment of the cybersecurity threat as the U.S. and Russia increasingly confront each other over issues ranging from the Russian aggression in Ukraine to the U.S. military operations in Syria.
The attacks on the State and White House systems is one reason why Clapper told a Senate hearing in February that the "Russian cyberthreat is more severe than we have previously assessed."
Yes, because only ferocious Russian hackers working directly for Vladimir Putin (according to "tell-tale" codes which experienced Russian hackers leave all the time) were capable enough of sending phushing emails to state department employees.
But the best part is that, supposedly, the evil, ferocious Russian hackers were first identified in October. Apparently it took 6 months, and a Clinton email server scandal to redirect public attention from her personal email server to that of the United States itself.
The White House in October said it noticed suspicious activity in the unclassified network that serves the executive office of the president. The system has been shut down periodically to allow for security upgrades.
The FBI, Secret Service and U.S. intelligence agencies are all involved in investigating the breach, which they consider among the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against U.S. government systems. ?The intrusion was routed through computers around the world, as hackers often do to hide their tracks, but investigators found tell-tale codes and other markers that they believe point to hackers working for the Russian government. A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment.
And the punchline: "the Russian embassy did not respond to a request for comment."
Why, were they too busy laughing at this idiocy?
Then again, in retrospect this is par for the course for a country which is now officially preparing to blame the next market rash on, drumroll, "Russian spies."