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White House confirms, plays down cyber attack

White House confirms, plays down cyber attack

CREATED Oct 1, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is acknowledging an attempt to infiltrate its computer system but says it thwarted the effort.

A White House official said the attack targeted an unclassified network. He said the attack was identified and that the system was isolated to prevent spread. He said there was no indication that any data was removed.

The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the attack, said there was no attempted breach of classified systems. The official described such "spear phishing" attacks as "not infrequent."

Last year, Google Inc. blamed computer hackers in China for a phishing effort against Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior U.S. government officials and military personnel.

The White House would not say whether the recent attack was linked to China.