Yesterday, April 7th, it was revealed that the United States White House had been hacked by allegedly Russian hackers.
According to reports, the Russian hackers used social engineering/phishing to get a foothold in the U.S. State Department and then pivoted from that system/network to the White House. Although the White House said no confidential information was compromised, the President's appointment calendar and other information were.
Attribution or "blame" for the hack was made more difficult because the hackers used proxies between themselves and the target. The FBI and the Secret Service are blaming the Russians because of the similarity of the malware used.
I point out this hack for a number of reasons.
First, it emphasizes the use of hacking in international relations. Hacking will be—if not already—the most important skill set for cyberwar, espionage, and foreign relations. It's not too late to start studying.
Second, these sophisticated hackers used a phishing attack to compromise the White House. Some novices still believe that phishing attacks don't work. That is far from the truth as many major hacks in recent years began as phishing attacks.
Third, you only need to hack one system on a network to compromise the entire network. Once you have a "foothold" within the network, you can pivot from that single system to compromise nearly every system within the network or connected to the network. The White House network is not connected to the State Department network, but a trust relationship exists between them, enabling the hackers to move from one to the other.
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