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White House data breach: what are the risks?

The news of a security incident involving public institutions is always treated with high importance, taking into consideration the volume of sensitive information stored by these entities. The recent White House data breach didn’t involve any classified information but hacking into the West Wing computer network might have been just enough to provide the attackers with important data: correspondence with certain diplomats or details about White House visitors.

Although it’s not been officially confirmed if the authorities are up against professional cyber thieves or foreign spies, personal information of American citizens can now be used by the attackers however this may serve their purposes.

An urgent letter signed by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee was addressed to President Barack Obama raising several concerns about the White House data breach.

Committee chairman John Thune released a statement last night expressing his concern over the hacking episode.

 ‘Just like any entity that handles personally-identifiable information, the White House has a responsibility to notify Americans if the recent, or any future breach, results in a compromise. If such information has been lost, the White House still has a responsibility to victims even if it believes the hack was perpetrated by foreign spies and not cyber thieves.’ said Committee chairman John Thune.

The letter mentions that the White House computer system contained not only personal data of the White House visitors but also sensitive information such as schedules, policy discussions and emails, including exchanges with diplomats. Do you think this type of information ending up in the hands of the attackers can do more harm than everybody initially thought?

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PR & Social Media Manager @Avira.