Cyber-security: US government cannot keep hackers out of national networks

State Department has been trying to expel hackers for three months

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The Independent US

In the three months since the US Department of State revealed that hackers had attacked its unclassified email network, the government has not been able to rid itself of the hackers and it does not know how much information has been stolen.

The government has been working with outside contractors and the National Security Agency  to evict the hackers, but each time the investigators spot a breach and block the hacker, they find another way into the network, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hackers only have accessed unclassified emails so far, but it’s possible that some of those emails could contain sensitive material. The effort to boot the hackers and discover who is behind the breach continues.

“We deal successfully with thousands of attacks every day,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a written statement. “We take any possible cyber intrusion very serious—as we did with the one we discussed several months ago—and we deal with them in conjunction with other relevant government agencies.”

The government has not said who is behind the cyber attacks, but people familiar with the situation told the Journal that there are whispers that it could be a job done by the Russian government.

In a similar attack in 2013, the US Navy found that Iranian hackers had accessed its unclassified network and it took four months to expel the hackers in that case. Iran never commented on the hack.


Follow Payton Guion on Twitter @PaytonGuion.