The office of the US Director of National Intelligence has accused Russia of involvement in the worst cyber-spy attack on the United States.
In a joint statement with the office, along with the FBI, the National Security Agency, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency inside the Department of Homeland Security, said the hackers’ goal appeared to be collecting intelligence, rather than any destructive acts. They said they had so far identified “fewer than 10” agencies that were hacked.
The statement further said, “likely Russian in origin, was responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks.”
The investigation is underway, they said and could turn up additional government victims.
Note that it was the first formal statement of attribution by the Trump administration.
Prior to this Elected officials briefed on the inquiry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously said Russia was behind the hacking spree.
However, President Trump downplayed the seriousness of the cyberattack, saying “things are under control” and expressed doubts about Russia’s role, pointing to China’s involvement.
It should be noted that last week, hacking was reported in the software of an American technology company called Solar Winds. However, the hacking has been going on for several months, and Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.
The US government agencies and agencies targeted in the hacking attack include the agency that monitors US nuclear weapons.
The U.S. Department of Energy said the hacking attack did not pose a threat to the safety of nuclear weapons and did not compromise their safety.
It is believed that other organizations around the world, including the UK, have been targeted by hackers using the same network management software.
Researchers have dubbed the attack “Sunburst” and say it could take years to understand the biggest cyber attack.