CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson revealed in May that her computer had been compromised. When asked about the situation, CBS News responded with a statement that it was conducting an investigation.
That investigation has reached the following conclusions, according to CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair:
“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.
This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.
CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”
Eugene H. Spafford, a Purdue University professor and specialist in computer security, said that Attkisson’s initial statements about computer intrusions left open a wide field of possibilities, from viruses to botnet activity to acquaintances to criminal gangs to the government. The Erik Wemple Blog asked Spafford for his take after looking over the CBS News statement. “The details given are too sparse to really be able to say anything new,” he responded.
The Justice Department issued this statement not long after Attkisson’s claims:
To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.
This will likely fade into the background as mere noise but ought to be setting off alarms from sea to shining sea.
If only we'd wake up as a nation.