Obama: Hackers accessed campaign files in 2008

Between August and October, the president said Friday, online intruders poked around in material including policy papers and travel plans.

This was originally published at CBSNews.com.

President Obama on Friday confirmed that his presidential campaign suffered a cyber intrusion in which hackers gained access to a range of files.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama says of cyberattacks: "It has happened to me." CBS

In a speech in which he unveiled a plan for a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy , the president said he understands what it is like to be a victim of a cyberattack because "it has happened to me and the people around me."

Between the months of August and October, Obama said, hackers accessed files including policy papers and travel plans. Files pertaining to fundraising information were left untouched, he assured his supporters in a joking manner.

Obama noted that his campaign's vulnerabilities reflected those of the rest of the world in the digital era.

"It's no secret my presidential campaign harnessed the Internet" to communicate with a wide swath of supporters, he said. However, the hacking was "a powerful reminder...one of your greatest strengths, our ability to communicate...could also be one of your greatest vulnerabilities."

The campaign worked with federal agents and hired security consultants to address the breach, Obama said. Newsweek reported in November that federal agents were investigating cyberbreaches of both the Obama and McCain campaigns.

 

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