Russian hackers reached sensitive White House systems

April 08, 2015 10:04
Tourists are told the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is closed due to a power outage in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.  Photo: AFP

Russian hackers penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system after intruding at the US State Department in recent months, CNN reported, citing US officials briefed on the matter.

But the White House said the report did not refer to a new incident and was only "speculating" about the source of cyber activities that were disclosed last year, Reuters reported.

Spokesman Mark Stroh said in a statement that the White House would not comment on CNN's attribution of the cyber attack to Russian hackers.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said in an appearance on CNN on Tuesday that the White House in 2014 disclosed cyber intrusions that did not affect classified information.

"We have an unclassified system and then we have a classified system, a top secret system," Rhodes said. "We do not believe that our classified systems were compromised."

CNN said the hackers gained access to unclassified but potentially sensitive information such as non-public details of the president's schedule.

Meanwhile, a power outage reportedly struck much of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, according to Yahoo News.

The US State Department, White House, Capitol and Justice Department were among the buildings that lost power.

A White House spokesperson said that backup generators kicked in initially after the outage, according to a tweet from Mark Knoller, a CBS News correspondent.

The Department of Energy, which is responsible for the nation’s power, was also affected by the outage.

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