Army Claims No Data Breach from Attempted Hack

Spokesman says Army took down site itself

AP

A United States Army official said the military was able to safeguard its data from an attempted hack by taking down its own website.

Army Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, Chief of Public Affairs, said in a statement that the military preemptively took down its website after indications that hackers were attempting to breach it.

"An element of the Army.mil service provider's content was compromised. After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily," Frost said.

It has not been confirmed who is responsible for the security breach. However, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), which supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, took credit for the attack. SEA posted a screen shot of the site with a pop-up message saying, "Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting."

The SEA attempt to breach one of the most secure departments of the federal government is just the latest attempt to hack the federal government.

The federal government revealed that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees sensitive information including security clearance, was hacked in December. The hack potentially affected up to 4 million federal workers potentially compromising their personal data and leaving them vulnerable to identity theft or even blackmail.

According to Zach Noble of FCW, a federal technology news site, the OPM files were not encrypted and could serve as a "holy grail" of counter-intelligence. The files contained not only sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth, but even information on gambling and sexual habits among the federal workers applying for security clearance.

It has not been proven but it is suspected that China was behind the hacking of OPM for the purposes of  "collecting intelligence on employees, their roles, projects they work on, access levels," as Jason Polancich, an ex-intelligence analyst for the U.S. government, told CNN.