State Department Shuts Down Unclassified Network

After recent events thrust the State Department into the limelight, there was an untimely announcement last week that the State Department had discovered suspicious malware in its unclassified systems that may be linked to Russian hackers. The State Department clarified that “there has been no compromise of any of the Department’s classified systems, nor of our core financial, consular and human resource systems.” This malware discovery within State Department systems is simply the next in line.

For the better part of two years, data breaches have been affecting corporations, healthcare providers, and banks across the world; from the JPMorgan Chase data breach, which affected more than 76 millions users to the Anthem BlueCross BlueShield breach, which jeopardized the information of its 80 million customers. Cyber attacks have become an increasing trend in the digital world and now seem to have begun affecting government systems.

In an attempt ensure the safety of all documents and classified systems, the Department announced that a quartered off section of their system would be shut down for the duration of this past weekend. This move allows them to internally monitor and eradicate any suspicious malware or vulnerability that had discovered. They’re also able to upgrade and fortify their cyber security/cyber defense efforts to prevent any future attacks or vulnerabilities.

The government stated, “as a part of the Department of State’s ongoing effort to ensure the integrity of our unclassified networks against cyberattacks, the Department is implementing improvements to the security of its main unclassified network during a short, planned outage of some Internet-linked systems.”

It’s safe to say that the recent scrutiny of the Department may have played a part in the re-evaluation of the Departments’ systems, which did in fact prove valuable. And while the headlines may have come at an inopportune time for the State Department, it’s better to eliminate any malware/vulnerabilities at an early stage before any major damage is done.

In the wake of the recent Hillary Clinton email scandal, a substantial cyber attack at this point would leave the entire Department reeling.


Written by Samuel Lang