Posted: 3:49 pm PST
Updated 3:58 pm PST
I’m not sure what kind of well wishes we should send out for a successful Friday the 13th planned outage. We hope your server paths do not cross with cyber black cats today? The State Department put out an announcement today that it’s Internet-linked systems will go on a planned outage.
As a part of the Department of State’s ongoing effort to ensure the integrity of our unclassified networks against cyber attacks, the Department is implementing improvements to the security of its main unclassified network during a short, planned outage of some internet-linked systems.
The Department continues to closely monitor and respond to activity of concern on our unclassified network. Such activity is something we take very seriously. There has been no compromise of any of the Department’s classified systems, nor of our core financial, consular, and human resource systems.
The recent increase in news reports regarding cyber incidents reflects that the Department is among a growing list of public institutions and private industries facing an increasing number of sophisticated cyber threats.
We are leading a team of dedicated experts from other agencies and the private sector that are working around the clock to protect the Department’s data. We are simultaneously implementing a strategy to harden the Department’s infrastructure to better protect its data not only today and tomorrow, but well into the future.
The Washington Examiner reported last month that log-in credentials for an estimated 30,000 State Department employees had to be replaced after unidentified hackers breached the agency’s unclassified communications network in November 2014. In February, “three people familiar with the investigation” told the Wall Street Journal that three months after the State Department confirmed hackers breached its unclassified email system, the government still hasn’t been able to evict them from the department’s network.
We understand it was a real headache but it wasn’t the login credentials that required replacement. Find those black cats and get them out of there!