Russia is being accused of launching a “sophisticated” attack against the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff email system, according to a report published overnight be NBC News.
The attack is said to have taken place around July 25th, and according to a CBS News report – the Joint Staff’s unclassified email system remains offline over a week later as severe restrictions have been put in place, disrupting the work of some 4000 personnel.
The classified network used by the Joint Chiefs is said to not be affected.
If CBS News’s report is accurate, sources are claiming that the attack was a “new sophisticated intrusion” that could “only be mounted by a state actor”.
A typical attack would have seen workers targeted via an email campaign that either tricked them into launching a malicious attachment, or visiting a website, that installed further malware onto victim computers.
Running up-to-date anti-virus software and keeping patches for software such as Adobe Flash, Adobe PDF Reader, Java and Silverlight up-to-date can reduce the chances of such an attack succeeding – but there is always the possibility that the attackers might have used a zero-day vulnerability for which there is no patch yet available.
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