The US government has been a victim of hacker attacks. Particularly worrying: the agency responsible for the country’s nuclear arsenal may also be affected.
The US agency for cyber and infrastructure security, Cisa, classifies the recent cyberattack on US government facilities as “serious threat”. Cisa announced in a warning on Thursday that the removal of the attacker from affected systems would likely be “highly complex”. The Hacker attack have been going on since March at least. The perpetrator or perpetrators have shown “patience, operational security and complex craftsmanship”.
US Atmospheric Weapons Agency apparently targeted
Cisa classified the attack as a “serious threat” to the federal government, state and local governments, critical infrastructure and private sector organizations. The Washington Post and theNew York Times“reported that the attackers were Hacker with connections to the Russian secret service. The Russian government rejected this.
The US magazine “Politico” meanwhile reported that the attack had also affected the US agency, which is in charge of the United States’ nuclear arsenal. The Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) found evidence that the hackers also accessed their networks, “Politico” reported, citing government officials. The three national nuclear laboratories Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico and Richland in Washington had been the goal.
Microsoft also affected by hacker attack
In addition, not only ministries and authorities, but also the software company Microsoft were affected by the attack. Microsoft confirmed on Thursday (local time) that a defective version of software from the US manufacturer Solarwinds had been discovered within the group. Solarwinds network management software was used as a gateway by the attackers. Microsoft management emphasized that previous investigations did not provide any information that the hackers had used Microsoft systems to attack customers.
The future US president Joe Biden announced on Thursday that such attacks would not go unanswered under his administration. Those responsible would be held accountable in coordination with allies. “Our opponents should know that as President, I will not stand idly by cyber attacks on our nation.” What is known about the recent attack is very worrying. Biden said: “My government will make cybersecurity a top priority at all levels of government.”
The US House of Representatives, dominated by Biden’s Democrats, announced on Thursday that several committees and sub-committees had launched a joint investigation into the attack. The attack “could potentially have devastating consequences for US national security,” said the letter from the chairmen of several committees to intelligence coordinator John Ratcliffe, incumbent Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and the chief of the FBI, Christopher Wray.