According to New York Times, the security breach into a White House unclassified computer system last year by Russian hackers has revealed that they cyber attackers were able to successfully read President Barrack Obama’s unclassified email exchanges, but the classified materials remain intact as the White House maintains two separate computer systems.
The Russian hackers managed to breach into the President’s unclassified email but officials cited there may be some classified contents inside because Obama regularly corresponds with foreign ambassadors and some policies may be revealed to the third party, though it is meant to be classified information.
New York Times also shared that a seperate computer system hosting classified materials of National Security importance was not hacked. It was the link with the outside internet system that was hacked by the Russian. An aide constantly carried President’s Obama blackberry and most of the email exchanges outside the White House secured system were breached by the Russian hackers and the contents probably known to them.
President Obama is no stranger to computer network attacks. His 2008 campaign was hit by Chinese hackers. Nonetheless, he has long been a frequent user of email, and publicly fought the Secret Service in 2009 to retain his Blackberry, a topic he has joked about in public. He was issued a special smartphone, and the list of those he can exchange emails with is highly restricted.
The discovery of the cyber hack has caused such a flurry of concern that the White House has partially shut down its email link with the outside, pending a security review of its computer system.