Foreign-backed hackers are monitoring e-mails at the US Treasury Department and the Internet and telecommunications policy-making agency, according to individuals familiar with the problem.
According to three individuals familiar with the ongoing investigation, Russia is currently believed to be behind the hacker attack.
“The United States government has been aware of these reports and we are discussing all possible steps to identify and resolve any potential issues related to this situation,” said National Security Council spokesman John Ulliott.
The intelligence community has expressed concern that hackers may have used similar means to penetrate the electronic systems of other agencies as well. It has not yet been specified which departments we are talking about.
According to one source, the hack is so serious it could lead to a meeting of the National Security Council held at the White House on Saturday.
Sources also say that the hack is related to the software used by the Office of Telecommunications – Office 365 from Microsoft.
Hackers monitored the agency’s emails for months, the sources said.
A company spokesman has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Representatives of the intelligence community have not yet commented on the situation.