Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo has blamed Russia for oneand said, “It is the case that we can now say quite clearly that it was the Russians who took part in this activity.”
He said, “There has been a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code within US government systems, and it now appears that there are systems from private corporations and corporations and governments around the world.”
Pompeo made the remarks on Friday on the conservative talk show “The Mark Levin Show”. He said, “We’re still unwrapping exactly what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain a secret.”
However, President Trump contradicted Pompeo and wrote on Twitter that China was “possibly” responsible for the attack.
“The cyber hack is far bigger in the fake news media than it is in reality. I have been well informed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the primary chant if something happens because Lamestream has petrified for largely financial reasons of … discussing the possibility that it could (it could be!) China, “wrote Mr Trump in two tweets, tagging Pompeo and National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe.
However, Senator Marco Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote on Twitter that he approves of Pompeo.
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“It is becoming increasingly clear that Russian intelligence committed the worst intrusion into the Internet in our history. The process of determining its extent and assessing the damage is ongoing. The remediation will take time and significant resources. Our response must be proportionate but significant, “said Rubio.
It may be months before the U.S. and other nations and some companies can determine the extent of the damage caused by the brazen attack, which went undetected for months. Sources told CBS News it was probably the largest cyber espionage campaign in US history, and it wasn’t over yet.
“This was really a massive attack,” Microsoft president Brad Smith told CBS News’ senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge.
The Kremlin has denied any involvement.
Smith said the attack spanned at least eight countries with 80% of the targets in the US, including many of the company’s customers. The goals included the State, Energy, Treasury, and Homeland Security departments.
“This attack is still going on. The industry is struggling, government officials are trying to get it under control, but it’s not yet under control,” he said.
Among the concerns: that the breach may have revealed information about taxpayers in the finance department.
“The effects are extraordinary,” said former FBI agent Eric O’Neill. “All of your information … may have been compromised by sophisticated attackers.”
Officials say the tactics are similar to other large-scale attacks that Russia has been accused of. But investigators cannot rule out other foreign opponents.
Smith said, “We should assume that the number of victims will increase.”
“It’s a bit of a natural disaster,” he said.
According to sources, the hackers may have been roaming free in unclassified systems, posing as high-ranking officials to gain access to classified information.
The hackers made their move at least in March and went undetected until last week.
President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office in just over a month, said in a statement earlier this week that the interference was “a major problem” and promised to “impose substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks.”