Sometimes I wonder why is this even "news". Or "newsworthy". Every government is involved with espionage. It is just part of statecraft. That is just lazy journalism, I mean I could be a journalist too... "Whitehouse spies on Kremlin, officials deny that anything important was stolen (because that just makes them look incompetent)". "China spies on India", "Iran spies on Israel"... Heck "My neighbour spies on me (to find out why my melons look better)". Successful espionage by its very definition does not get public airtime.
Strike out the "White house" part of things... and this becomes "Russia hacked into a public network where no major information was stored"..... Another day... another news story determined to gain "likes" on facebook, and airtime on the idiot box.
Culture in the US still has a ways to go before we realize that cyber security is an important thing. Right now it seems like most people just want to ignore the security risks and focus solely on how bendable their iPhone may or may not be.
Like we don't have NSA computer hackers doing the same thing to the Russians and Chinese. It also means that the Russians evidently are educating their own people to a high level of expertise without feeling the need to import or subcontracting to a bunch of computer programmers from India.
snowden-- you mean the guy who blew the whistle on the gov. sneaking around your back wire tapping your stuff reading your e-mails recording your cell phone and collecting them with out your permission or warrant and was deemed a criminal for informing you your rights may be violated ??