Military shut down private email access after cyberthreat

Military shut down private email access after cyberthreat

The military shut down all access to commercial email on Defense Department servers late last week due to an investigation into “spoofed” emails, or emails that don’t come from their stated sender.

Commercial web-mail servers like Gmail and Hotmail were blocked for about 48 hours beginning on Thursday, Jeff Capenos, a spokesman for Defense Information Systems Agency, told the Washington Examiner.

“These actions were taken, by direction of USCYBERCOM and the execution of the Defense Information Systems Agency, to ensure the security of the DoDIN. Access to commercial email services was restored during the weekend,” Capenos said in a statement.

All Defense Department personnel received a message on Friday saying that they would no longer be able to access commercial email on defense servers at 2 a.m. that day, and that fixes would take about 15 hours.

The gap in service was “in response to an ongoing investigation into multiple spoofed emails and potential ransomware infections occurring across DoD,” according to a copy of the message obtained by the Examiner.

The Defense Department defends against thousands of cyberattacks every day, Capenos said.

Last year, the Joint Chiefs email service was taken offline for weeks due to security concerns. CNN reported that officials believe Russia hacked into the unclassified email server, but said no classified networks were affected.

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