The White House confirmed on Monday that it was targeted by a cyber attack, but declined to discuss from where the attack originated, after a news report identified China as the offender.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Sunday that hackers believed to be associated with the Chinese government had breached a computer system operated by the White House Military Office. The White House also declined state if the breach occurred at the military office.
According to the official, the hack was carried out through a "spearphishing" attack, which is typically triggered when a party clicks on a malware-infected link or file received via email. There was no evidence that data was taken during the incident, the official said.
“In this instance the attack was identified, the system was isolated, and there is no indication whatsoever that any exfiltration of data took place. Moreover, there was never any impact or attempted breach of any classified system,” a law enforcement official told Fox news.
This is not the first time China has been behind hacking attempts against the U.S. government and companies.
In 2008, Chinese hackers reportedly broke into a White House computer network and obtained emails between government officials. Last year, hackers based in China broke into Gmail accounts belonging to employees working in the White House, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"We need to give this critical priority -- it needs to be a discussion at every level of our government and we must rapidly adopt new technologies to protect our nation from this threat,” the official told Fox news.