State Department Network ‘Attacked Every Day, Thousands of Times a Day’

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom told Senators the IT systems at the State Department “are attacked every day, thousands of times a day.”

Senator David Perdue (R-GA) followed up after Tuesday’s hearing, in which the State Department’s Inspector General Steve Linick said he had concerns about IT security, and admitted the State Department’s networks have been attacked.

Linick also voiced concern over his lack of independence to conduct oversight of the department, since he operates on the department’s own network.

Perdue questioned Higginbottom about Linick’s concerns on IT security and independence.

Higginbottom said Linick’s concerns raise “difficult issues, but we’re looking at that now and examining it. It’s also important that we understand the costs.”

Perdue then interrupted Higginbottom, asking if the department has had an actual breach of its network.

“I can tell you, Senator, that we have been breached, this has been reported. Any further details of that, I’d be happy to have in a different setting,” responded Higginbottom.


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