US says recent hacking campaign hit government networks - GulfToday

US says recent hacking campaign hit government networks


The US Treasury Department in Washington, D.C, US. File/Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at the US Treasury and Commerce departments as the US government confirmed on Wednesday that a recent hacking campaign affected its networks and said the attack was “significant and ongoing.”

This was according to media reports earlier this week, citing people who said they feared the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said, “This is a developing situation, and while we continue to work to understand the full extent of this campaign, we know this compromise has affected networks within the federal government,” said a joint statement issued by the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Cyber-CodeA projection of cyber code on a hooded man is pictured in this illustration picture. File/Reuters

Technology company SolarWinds Corp, which was the key stepping-stone used by the hackers, said up to 18,000 of its customers had downloaded a compromised software update that allowed hackers to spy unnoticed on businesses and agencies for almost nine months.

Earlier, Dutch prosecutors Wednesday said a man had cracked US President Donald Trump's Twitter account in October despite denials from Washington and the company, but added that the so-called "ethical Hacker" would not face charges.

The man, named as Victor Gevers in Dutch media, reportedly hacked into Trump's account @realDonaldTrump by guessing his password on October 16, Dutch media reports said.

Both the White House and Twitter have strenuously denied reports that the account had been hacked.


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“Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign,” the joint statement said.

“The FBI is investigating and gathering intelligence in order to attribute, pursue, and disrupt the responsible threat actors,” the statement said.

The FBI, CISA and ODNI have formed a Cyber Unified Coordination Group to coordinate the US government’s response, it said.

White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien cut short a European trip on Tuesday and returned to Washington to deal with the attack.

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