Sophisticated overseas hackers broke in to the computer systems of both the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns and stole a large amount of data, according to an article published Wednesday by Newsweek.
Officials with the FBI and the Secret Service notified Obama staffers in August of the breach after tech consultants for the campaign detected what they thought at the time was a computer virus.
"You have a problem way bigger than what you understand," an FBI agent told Obama staff members. "You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system."
White House chief of staff Josh Bolten also weighed in, telling an Obama campaign chief: "You have a real problem...and you have to deal with it."
Investigators told Obama aides that the McCain computer systems had been similarly compromised. A senior McCain official confirmed to Newsweek that the campaign's network had been hacked and the FBI was investigating.
Representatives of both campaigns weren't available to comment on the Newsweek report.
According to investigators at the FBI and the White House, a "foreign entity or organization" is believed to be behind the attacks in an attempt to "gather information on the evolution of both camps' policy positions." The information could prove useful in negotiations with a future administration. The investigators told the Obama team the hack wasn't carried out by political opponents.
The article is here. ®