Chinese hackers have reportedly launched a successful spear phishing attack against the White House Military Office.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that defence and intelligence officials familiar with the incident said that the breach was one of Beijing's most brazen cyber attacks against the United States, and that it highlighted a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks.
Attackers targeted an unclassified network according to a national security official who said the type of attack was ‘not infrequent' and that there were unspecified mitigation measures in place.
The report said the attack occurred earlier this month and involved unidentified hackers who were believed to have used computer servers in China and accessed the computer network used by the White House Military Office (WHMO).
This network is the US president's military office in charge of some of the government's most sensitive communications, including strategic nuclear commands and arranged presidential communications and travel, and inter-government teleconferences involving senior policy and intelligence officials.
The White House said there was not yet evidence to show data theft but the extent of damage done was not yet known.
A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment on the cyber attack, or on whether President Obama was notified of the incident.