The unclassified email system of the U.S. State Department was hacked in recent weeks, forcing officials to shut down the entire system over the weekend according to an Associated Press report.
Though the breach occurred last month and reports indicate abnormal activity on the system as recently as late October, officials waited to shut down the affected systems until last weekend.
The White House’s unclassified system suffered a cyberattack ascribed to Russian-based hackers around the same time, which was reported late last month. Neither attack was able to infiltrate the State Department or White House classified email exchange systems. (RELATED: Report: Russian Hackers Breach White House Computer Network)
October’s attack follows a string of successful cyberattacks against federal government systems in September by Chinese cyber-assailants. A U.S. Post Office system breach compromised the personal data of up to 800,000 employees, and another against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather tracking and prediction systems forced officials to close the system and cut off data vital to transportation and other industries. (RELATED: Report: Chinese Hackers Infiltrated The Federal Weather Network, Disrupted ‘Vital’ Information)