Recently, another successful hacker penetration of government networks in
the United States was revealed. This time it was members of Congress who found
that their office PCs and networks were infested with hidden software that was
monitoring PC use and sending files back to the hackers.
2008,, it was revealed that the White House computer networks were under
constant attack, and that hackers have gotten in a few times. No more details
were given of these attacks, although the most likely source is believed to be
It was also
revealed that the networks of both U.S. presidential candidates were hacked
during the Fall of 2008, and large quantities of files taken. U.S. government
Internet security officials warned the campaign managers, and offered to help
clean out the hacker software. Both campaigns brought in their own experts and
found that the campaign networks were penetrated mainly because the campaign
staffs had rapidly expanded and many
users were not using sufficient defensive software. This made it easier for
hackers to get in.
officials tend to keep quiet about these attacks, partly out of embarrassment.
The Cyber War community is under much pressure by government officials to
confirm where these attacks are coming from, and who is responsible.
and Russia are often mentioned as the source of these attacks, government
Internet security organizations will not give details. That's normal, as you
don't want the enemy to know you are tracking his hacking efforts, much less
let on how closely you are monitoring these attacks. The U.S. may well have
some very precise information on where these attacks are coming from, who is
doing it, and how. The attackers get some sense of how good their opponent is
by the changes in the defenses. But the U.S. doesn't want the hackers to know
if hacker central has been identified. That information can be a valuable
weapon when it comes time to counterattack. That has not happened because
several requests to Congress, for permission to strike back, have gone
unanswered, at least publically.