Military temporarily shut down personal email access

Military temporarily shut down personal email access
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The Department of Defense (DOD) shut down private email access on its servers for about 48 hours on Friday over cybersecurity concerns, The Washington Examiner reports.

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The shutdown was in response to “an ongoing investigation into multiple spoofed emails and potential ransomware infections occurring across DOD," according to an internal memo.

An agency spokesman said the action was taken “to ensure the security of the [Department of Defense Information Network].” Access to commercial email services was restored over the weekend, according to the statement.

The service suspension comes in the wake of several high-profile hacks of personal accounts belonging to senior intelligence officials — and less than a year after Russian hackers were suspected of infiltrating an unclassified email network at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Earlier this year, European police arrested alleged members of a group that has claimed responsibility over the last several months for breaking into the personal accounts of CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano.

Most recently, the group targeted President Obama’s senior adviser on science and technology, John Holdren.

In November, the group also released what appeared to be thousands of law enforcement and military personnel’s personal information.

Last year, the Pentagon took the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s network offline for two weeks after suspected Russian hackers infiltrated the network's unclassified email system.

A DOD spokeswoman said at the time that an investigation showed that the network had been cracked through a “broad phishing campaign,” in which hackers lure targets into clicking on a nefarious link or downloading an infected document.