By Tony Winterburn • 19 December 2020 • 7:51
Mike Pompeo says ‘pretty clear’ Russia Behind Cyberattacks on the US.
The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Russia is behind the ongoing and relentless hacking of a spectrum of government agencies and corporations. “This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”
Pompeo is now the first Trump administration official to pin the hack on Russia. “We’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified,” Pompeo, who formerly headed the CIA, told US chat show host Mark Levin, according to a transcript of the interview released by the State Department.
‘But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside the US government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well,” he said.
Speaking on CNN on Wednesday, Dec. 16, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois called the hack of government agencies and corporations “virtually a declaration of war. We can’t be buddies with Vladimir Putin and have him at the same time making this kind of cyberattack on America. This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States, and we should take it that seriously,” said the minority whip.
The hacks on the US treasury and commerce departments networks comes only days after the cybersecurity firm FireEye was hacked. Both the department of homeland security and the FBI are currently investigating the security breach.
The U.S. Justice Department has also accused six Russian computer hackers of causing power blackouts and financial losses of nearly $1 billion after targeting the 2018 Winter Olympics in China. Court documents said the six were officers in the Russian military’s main intelligence directorate and used “some of the most destructive malware to date.”
US Prosecutors said it caused blackouts in Ukraine, victimized the Olympics opening ceremony, and caused losses of nearly $1 billion to Pennsylvania’s Heritage Valley Health System and three other U.S. companies, including a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.
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