Does the Government Get Hacked Into?


The gamut of computerized technology combined with Internet access continually attracts possible terroristic activity. The intriguing field of cybersecurity remains a vital mission for the Department of Homeland Security. In the last decade, headlines reported that various departments of the government and the military fell victim to attacks by hackers.

UK Guy Who Hacked Into US Military Computers

According to a 2008 article posted by “Tech Dirt”, a UK citizen set out to prove that the United States military was hiding a wealth of information concerning aliens and UFOs. Admittedly chemically impaired at the time, Gary Mckinnon decided to hack into military files in order to unearth the evidence. However, the unlikely hero inadvertently found his way into military computer systems that reportedly cost the government millions of dollars in damages. He and his legal advisors have been fighting with the government since, as the U.S. continues demanding his extradition to the states to serve prison time for his misdeed.

Federal Government Jobs Web Site Hacked

In 2009, the “Washington Post” featured an article concerning an invasion of the federal government’s database that contained information provided by people looking for government employment. One or more individuals hacked into the USAJOBS site and stole applicant names, addresses and phone numbers, along with emails, IDs and passwords. While financial information and social security numbers were not accessed, the program’s director stated that the concern lies in the fact that hackers may use the data for phishing schemes. Posing as a representative of USAJOBS or, the engine that powers the site, thieves could contact applicants via email and gain access to personal computers by implanting cookies, a virus or requesting that individuals download some type of program.

Teenager Hacks U.S. Government and Military Computers

A report posted by the Internet Patrol claimed that a teenager in Sweden supposedly gained entry into the systems at NASA, a naval air station and the White Sands Missile Range. A researcher at one of the facilities retrieved a message, which disclosed the identity and location of the teen, in addition to an admission of guilt that he had accessed computers in all three sensitive government areas. Though the youngster only obtained weather information, the matter remains disturbing that with little if any training and rudimentary technology, he was able to enter all three systems.

The Cyber Cold War: China vs. U.S.

Money CNN released a story in 2011 that China Telecom, one of the country’s Internet companies, used tactics to divert relays from around the globe through its servers for approximately 18 minutes. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission voiced that the action not only may have involved data capturing, but additionally could have potentially included transmission censoring or altering unbeknownst to either the sender or the receiver. Officials reported that the traffic rerouted from the U.S. originated from numerous government and military sites. Hackers also obtained data from various U.S. corporations that included Dell, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo. A spokesperson from the NSA reported that government and private Chinese entities have repeatedly posed a threat to U.S. computer systems in the last 15 years.

The Department of Homeland Security was established in 2002 following the tragic events of 911. Cybersecurity is one of many fields used by the agency to ensure the country’s protection. The DHS employs over 240,000 citizens in a wide range of occupations spanning from aviation to U.S. Customs.