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Unauthorized Intrusion Disrupts E-Mail Systems of Pentagon

A hacker attacked the U.S. Pentagon resulting in major breakdown of the department's e-mail system. Officials had to disconnect about 1,500 accounts from the Net to ensure security, the U.S. Defense Department said, as reported by PCPRO.co in news on June 22, 2007.

Parts of the OSD non-categorized e-mail system was disconnected from the Net on Wednesday 20, 2007 afternoon because of an unauthorized intrusion, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the next day, and The Economic Times published it as news on June 22, 2007.

On June 20, 2007, a panel of Congress revealed that hackers also managed to access computer networks at the Department of Homeland Security, the government agency set up to maintain security against online threats.

According to representative James Langevin, the incident shows that terrorists or other nations could be breaking into computer systems of Department of Homeland Security obviously to access its databases. They could also be trying to change names to access to U.S. while officials could be totally unaware of it, as published by Middle East Times on June 22, 2007.

The e-mail system in Pentagon relates to routine e-mails dealing with administrative issues but no specific information about military operation, said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Gary Keck. The Economic Times published this on June 22, 2007.

Gates said normally there are constant attacks on the computers of the defense department but he failed to understand why this particular attack compelled authorities to take part of the network offline. Gates remained apparently unaffected by the latest incident, since he apparently doesn't use the e-mail system at all, as he declared himself a 'low-tech person'.

He said the department keeps superfluous systems in order and therefore the hacking incident may not adversely affect its ongoing operations. There could be some administrative failures and personal problems. Middle East Times published this on June 22, 2007. Gates said it is nothing new for the department to aggressively analyze the intrusion and deploy appropriate measures to deal with such kinds of events.

Pentagon authorities refused to say anything about the possible origin of the attack or if the hacker had managed to access and read any outgoing e-mail.

Related article: Unauthorized Patch by Researcher Posts Threat for Microsoft

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