Hackers Hit Ex-Military Head


By DEVLIN BARRETT, JULIAN E. BARNES and EVAN PEREZ The Wall Street Journal December 5, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing foreign hackers who targeted the computers of retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the latest example of what current and former officials call a pattern of attacks on computers of former high-ranking U.S. officials.

The hackers targeted Mr. Mullen’s personal computers, which he used while working on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy since his retirement in 2011, according to officials and others familiar with the probe. Those people said FBI agents took away two computers in late October and returned them in mid-November.

One official said that evidence gathered by the FBI points to China as the origin of the hacking, and that it appeared the perpetrators were able to access a personal email account of Mr. Mullen. The official declined to be more specific.

Geng Shuang, the spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said he wasn’t aware of the investigation into the hacking of Mr. Mullen’s computers, and that his government prohibits cyberattacks. “China is a major victim of hacker attacks,” he said. “The Chinese government would like to work with other countries, including the U.S., to explore effective ways to combat cyberattacks.”


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