he US state department was hit by a cyber-attack and notifications of a possible serious breach were made by the department of defense cyber command, US media reports said on Saturday.
A Fox News report stated that the extent of the breach and the perpetrators behind the attack remains unclear.
The report said it remains unclear if any department operations were affected by the breach.
Moreover, a source familiar with the US evacuation of Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan said Operation Allies Refuge has not been affected.
“The department takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard its information and continuously takes steps to ensure information is protected,” a department spokesperson told Fox News. “For security reasons, we are not in a position to discuss the nature or scope of any alleged cybersecurity incidents at this time.”
This development comes a few weeks after a government report rated the department’s information security programme as the lowest possible rating within the government’s model.
The report found the department’s security to be “ineffective” in the majority of function areas” and highlighted the fact that “sensitive national security information” was at risk.
It also noted that the state department did not perform timely and required security assessments that were also addressed in a 2015 inspector general report.