Back in November, we learned that the State Department's unclassified networks had been hit by an unidentified group of hackers, causing the department's email and websites to go offline, and prompting some awkward conversations with the IT guys. And according to a WSJ report, the State Department still hasn't managed to clean up the mess.

The report quotes "people familiar with the investigation", who claim that the agency's network (and probably a side helping of government efficiency) has made the clean-up difficult. Apparently, they don't know how much (if any) of the network is hacker-free, and parts of the system still go offline from time to time. Investigators are also playing a cat-and-mouse game with the intruders, with new attacks being made with slightly-altered versions of the original exploit.

All in all, it serves as a worrying reminder of the potential damage a hack can wreak. Different attacks have had different end results: Sony's recent hack resulted in a fairly small $15 million bill, whereas other companies have dealt with breaches by physically destroying every bit of infected hardware. [WSJ]

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