Report: White House e-mail system attacked

National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force has detected and defended the unclassified White House computer network, according to a new report.

It was revealed this week that the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain were hacked over the summer. Now, a report has surfaced that the White House has suffered multiple attacks in recent months as well.

According to a story by the Financial Times on Friday, U.S. officials have confirmed that the White House e-mail archives were attacked several times in recent months. The report says the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, a new unit established in 2007 to tackle cybersecurity, detected the attacks on the White House, and also traced the attacks back to servers based in China.

The quoted source said each time the attack was detected, new defenses were put in place. "It is constant cat and mouse."

Overall, the attackers apparently only had access to the unclassified White House computer network. Nonetheless, the data could still have value.

The unnamed official quoted within the report speculated that the cyberattacks might follow the "grain of sands" approach used by Chinese intelligence. That involves parsing through often low-level information to find a few nuggets.