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Hackers struck at the heart of the U.S. military in August 2015 by seizing the e-mail system used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2015 and now retired, giving an interview to CBS News reported on Thursday.

Dempsey told CBS News in an exclusive interview about an attempt to hack into the e-mail system used by the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in August 2015.

Hackers penetrated the highest levels of the us military. The attack was proceeding at an alarming speed. Intruders took just an hour to take over the un-classified email system used by the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, the organization of some 3,500 military officers and civilians who work for the Chairman, CBS News reported.

Dempsey, who did not appear on camera, he said the Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers alerting him to the attack by an emergency early-morning phone call, according to CBS.

In this attach Hackers seized the log-in credentials including passwords and electronic signatures of hundreds of senior officers of US military including General Dempsey, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who retired in September 2015, and the President’s advisers on military matters, according to CBS News.

The only way to stop the attack was to take the network down. Then Pentagon was forced to take down the entire network to stop the hack. Replacing damaged computer hardware and software took two weeks.

The network had to be closed because the hackers grabbed the passwords and electronic signatures computer credentials of Dempsey and hundreds of other senior officers, told CBS News.

The attack began with 30,000 e-mails sent to a West Coast university. Of those 30,000, four were forwarded to members of the Joint Staff. when one email was opened by the member of US military email system and eventually compromised the system before spreading across the entire network., allowing the hackers in. and Then hackers penetrated the system.

It was not spying, but a full-on assault whose only apparent purpose was to cause damage and force the Pentagon to replace both hardware and software, which took about two weeks to accomplish. The motive for the attack was believed to be Russian anger at economic sanctions orchestrated by the Obama administration in response to Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and interference in Ukraine, reported by CBS News

 

NBC News stated, “The officials say its not clear whether the attack was sanctioned by the Russian government or conducted by individuals. But, given the scope of the attack, ‘It was clearly the work of a state actor,’ the officials say.”

 

US President Barack Obama vowed to take action against Russia for its apparent interference in the US presidential election.

He said he had spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin about the hacking, and said his counterpart was aware that the US would seek retaliatory action, some of it “explicit and publicized; some of it may not be”.

 

The Pentagon hasn’t provided any statement on this, but given the fact that the information comes from the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there’s a good chance that everything is accurate.

Russian President of supervising his intelligence agencies’ hacking of the U.S. presidential election in an effort to help Republican Donald Trump. Russian officials have denied accusations of interference in the Nov. 8 election won by Trump.

 

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