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Russian Hackers Attack the White House

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By darksage008
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| Russian hackers attack the white house | | | Michae haven | 4/27/2015 |

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On April 8, 2015 CNN did a report on a security breach involving the white house and the state department. This attack was done allegedly by Russian hackers in an attempt to gain states secrets. The hackers had gained access to the state departments computers via a phishing email attack. The attack was found out by suspicious activity that was happening on the white house computers. This attack allowed them full access to the state department’s computers and eventually they were able to convince someone to give them access to the white house’s non classified systems where sensitive information like the presidents non-published schedule and other information. The state department had been battling the hackers for months on trying to keep the hackers out but with no success at doing so. The systems were taken off line in an attempt to purge the mal-ware that was installed that gave the access to the systems and for new security measures to be put into place to help prevent future attacks on the systems. (Prokupecz, 2015)
The attack was done by using a phishing scam. The way this works is first someone sends a message to a user, in this case it was by an email, trying to convince the user that they are someone from inside their work place, representing an event from the work place, or represents themselves as a trusted source. They then get the user to click on a web link that takes them to a fake website. Once at the site the hacker then downloads a malware virus that does several things. The first it can record information that is inputted or stored on the system like user names and passwords to bank account records. The second this malware can install a back door to the system giving the hacker access to the system as if they were an admin on the network. The third is they could ask the user to input information into the webs site that would then be recorded for future use. This could be a new user name and password to personal information about the user. The hacker then will use this information that is gathered to either launch attack against the network, build fake profiles for identity theft, or sell the information to people who want to attack the network or launch identity theft on the person. In this case the phishing that was launch gave access to the state department computers and white house computers.
The white house in response to the attack shut down their system that was affected and also shut down the state departments systems that was effected while they removed the malware that was in their system and upgraded their security of the current system to prevent phishing attacks from happening again.
Though that will not be enough to stop these sort of attacks from happening again against the white house and other government facilities. The reason for this is that the malware that is installed is seen as a trusted piece of software that comes from a trust site and thus by passes most anti-virus software. First extra training should be given to all employees on how to spot phishing scams and attacks. Second set spam filters high enough to catch junk mail or to see phishing attacks as junk mail and train employees not to open attachments from mail in the spam box and not to click on links in the spam box as they can lead to websites with malware that can infect the system. Train personal not to communicate personal information over the internet but by phone or on secure website. Also by training personal what secure websites look like they can know what sites to trust and what sites not to trust. Training to never email personal information no matter who you are emailing them to as they can fall into the wrong hands and lead to attacks of identity or attacks on their place of work. Train people to beware of pop ups and to never enter personal information into pop ups, don’t click on pop up adds as they can take them to unsecure sites that would do damage to them or the systems they work on. Increasing firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software also would help in protecting the network and prevent phishing scams from being launch successfully. Regular checks of the system for anomalies, suspicions activity, or unauthorized access has been made on the systems. (killer, 2008)
White House officials state that the attack on the white house and state department proves that we are not fully prepared for internet based attacks and that more needs to be done to protect how data infrastructure. In this case extra training, higher levels of anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall protections and spam-filters could have prevented the attack on the white house and the state department.

Works Cited killer, i. t. (2008). are you phishing for trouble. Retrieved from identity theft killer: http://www.identitytheftkiller.com/prevent-phishing-scams.php
Prokupecz, E. P. (2015, 04 08). How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House. Retrieved from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/07/politics/how-russians-hacked-the-wh/index.html…...

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