Politics

Chinese hackers attack White House office in charge of nuclear launch codes

Josh Peterson Tech Editor

Hackers associated with the Chinese government attacked an unclassified network of the White House Military Office during September.

The attack, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, came as the White House nears completion of a cybersecurity executive order.

The White House Military Office, which arranges the president’s travel schedule and teleconferences with senior policy and intelligence officials, is also in charge of the strategic nuclear command codes that comprise the president’s nuclear football.

Due to the nature of the target, the attack was suspected to have come from the Chinese military’s cyber unit, the 4th Department of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army.

A senior Obama administration official told the Free Beacon that the cyberattack was a “spear phishing” attack, which uses an email to lure the targeted adversary into revealing confidential information.

While there is no indication of a breach or sign that data was compromised, officials have not yet determined the extent of the hack’s damage.

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Chinese hackers attack White House office in charge of nuclear launch codes