Big national security agencies have confirmed on Tuesday that Russia was probably responsible for a massive hack of United States government departments and corporations.
The hacks appeared to be intended for “intelligence gathering,” suggesting the evidence so far pointed to a Russian spying effort rather than an attempt to damage or disrupt U.S. government operations.
The agencies said that the actor of the attacks are, “likely Russian in origin, is responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks”. The investigation is still ongoing, they said, and could turn up additional government victims.
The penetration of departments including homeland security, state, defense, treasury and commerce is already considered the worst known cyber-compromise at least since electronic dossiers on most Americans with security clearances were taken from the Office of Personnel Management five years ago.
FireEye is a security company which was itself breached, discovered the new round of attacks, many of which were traced to a tainted software update from SolarWinds, which makes widely used network-management programs.
Other attacks have used resellers of Microsoft cloud services, with email being a main goal of the hackers.
Sources: Washington Post and Newsmax; Photo: nbcwashington.com