Senator Seeks Answers from President on White House Cyber Attack

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, John Thune, has sent an open letter to President Obama to address the cyber attack on the White House’s unclassified computer system in late-2014. The breach, allegedly by Russian hackers, was according to Senator Thune “more extensive than previously known,” and accessed “a great deal of sensitive information, such as schedules, policy discussions, and e-mails sent and received by” Mr. Obama, “including exchanges with ambassadors.”

Following increased attacks across Executive Branch departments and agencies, Mr. Thune and the Committee had “serious questions as to whether they are adequately prepared to address vulnerabilities and protect sensitive information.” The senator explained, “concerned remain that the White House’s network infrastructure remains vulnerable.”

Mr. Thune then called on Mr. Obama, who previously “proposed legislation that would require companies to notify consumers,” to explain whether the attack on the White House involved access of personally identifiable information, including dates of birth, social security number, gender, place of residence, and citizenship, whether the White House has notified those affected consistent with OMB policy, and whether the White House is taking steps to prevent incidents going forward.

A complete copy of Senator Thune’s letter can be accessed here.

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