Washington: US authorities are investigating an incident in which hackers believed to be working for the Russian government recently breached the unclassified White House computer networks, it has been reported.
White House officials believe the attack was state-sponsored, but are not commenting on who was behind the intrusion or how much data, if any, was taken.
“In the course of assessing recent threats, we identified activity of concern on the unclassified Executive Office of the President network,” a White House official was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.
“We took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity. Unfortunately, some of that resulted in the disruption of regular services to users. But people were on it and are dealing with it,” the official said.
The intrusion into the unclassified networks resulted in temporary disruptions in some services, White House officials said. However, there were no indications that classified networks had been hacked.
US officials were alerted by an ally, the breach was discovered two to three weeks ago.
The FBI, Secret Service and National Security Agency are reportedly all involved in the investigation.
Recent reports by security firms have identified cyber- espionage campaigns by Russian hackers thought to be working for the government.
Targets have included NATO, the Ukrainian government and US defense contractors. Russia is regarded by US officials as being in the top tier of states with cyber-capabilities.
In October 2008, the Russian intelligence service was suspected of being behind a breach discovered on the US military's classified networks.
(With Agency inputs)