The name Moonlight Maze refers to an incident in which U.S. officials accidentally discovered a pattern of probing of computer systems at The Pentagon, NASA, United States Department of Energy, private universities, and research labs that had begun in March 1998 and had been going on for nearly two years. Sources report that the invaders were systematically marauding through tens of thousands of files – including maps of military installations, troop configurations and military hardware designs. The United States Department of Defense traced the trail back to a mainframe computer in the former Soviet Union but the sponsor of the attacks is unknown and Russia denies any involvement. As of 2003, Moonlight Maze was still being actively investigated by U.S. intelligence.
On September 20, 1999, Newsweek printed a story on Moonlight Maze that was written by Gregory Vistica. It was titled "'We're in the middle of a cyberwar'", based on a quote from then-Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre. However, this was refuted shortly thereafter in an article by Federal Computer Week's Dan Verton.
- PBS. "Cyberwar! The Warnings?". PBS. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Newsweek Exclusive: 'We're in the Middle of a Cyberwar'". PR Newswire. September 12, 1999. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
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- Russians Seem To Be Hacking Into Pentagon, San Francisco Chronicle
- Text of James Adams' testimony to the Committee on Governmental Affairs that includes a summary of Moonlight Maze
- Summary of Moonlight Maze by television series Frontline
- David Perera, Chinese attacks 'Byzantine Candor' penetrated federal agencies, says leaked cable, Fierce Government IT, December 6, 2010
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