An unprecedented breach at Sony Pictures is stirring fears around the vulnerability of sensitive information systems in the United States – including those at the White House.
When asked about the possibility of hackers gaining access to White House computers, former White House Cybersecurity Advisor Chris Finan told Hardball’s Chris Matthews that “a determined hacker these days, given enough time, can almost get into any system. You never really want to let your guard down and you never want to underestimate your adversaries.”
“So it is doable,” Matthews responded.
“It’s not out of the question when it comes to these types of activities unfortunately,” Finan replied.
Finan’s role in the White House included leading executive branch negotiations with Congress for cybersecurity legislation, according to his biography with the Center For National Policy. He also helped draft an executive order on the subject.
President Obama is no stranger to cybersecurity breaches. In May of 2009, he announced the creation of a team at the White House dedicated solely to combating the growing threat of cyberterrorism. In his remarks to supporters and experts gathered at the White House, he revealed that his own Presidential campaign had been the victim of an attack where hackers gained access to sensitive information like policy papers and travel plans.
NBC News would later learn that those hackers were backed by the Chinese government.
The White was not immediately available for comment.