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US government agencies suffer massive cyber attack

Senator Durbin and Mitt Romney statements

Senator Dick Durbin,
a Democrat from Illinois, said to CNN:“This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously.” On Thursday in the Senate Durbin said the hack as a “virtual invasion”.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney a Republican Senator also responded in a tweet saying that there had been “inexecusable silence and inaction from the White House over the hack.” Romney said in a radio interview: “I think the White House needs to say something aggressive about what happened. This is almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying undetected over the country, including over the nation’s capital, and not to respond in a setting like that is really stunning.”

Hack of software company Solar Winds

The hack of the company used by various US government agencies and many corporations was discovered by Fireye a cybersecurity firm. When FirEye first reported the hack it said it was carried out by a nation state but did not say which one. Bloomberg reported that Charles Carmakal , a leading incident response expert for FirEye said that he had not yet seen suffiicient evidence to see who carried out the hack.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said that the perpetrator behind the hack was highly sophisticated. CISA said it could take weeks if not months to determine the number of agencies affected and the extent to which sensitive data and information was compromised.

Many blame Russia for the hacks

Immediately after reports of the hack anonymous sources speaking to several media outlets blamed the hack on Russia. Some mainstream sources reported the claim as fact.

On Thursday the Washington Post
reported that several federal investigators had discovered evidence of previously unknown tactics during their investigation of the attack. The paper described the hacks as “Russia’s recent intrusions” but cited only unnamed US officials to back up their claim. The report noted: “The US government has not publicly blamed Russia for the hacks, but US officials speaking privately say that Russian government hackers were behind the operation.”

Other media were more guarded in their response. A Politico report noted that the US government had not explicitly blamed Russia for the attacks. President elect Joe Biden also did not explicitly blame the Russians but he did say that US adversaries should know that he would as president disrupt and deter any cyber attacks and not just sit idly by,

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