Hackers Target US Computer Systems

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The Kremlin is suspected of being behind a series of attacks using Russian hackers to target U.S. government computer systems at Commerce and Treasury departments. U.S. officials speculate these attacks may have lasted months before being detected, as reported by NPR news in an article dated Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

The hackers compromised email systems in both government departments. However, the extent of the damage done by these hackers was not immediately clear. Russian hackers may have also targeted other government departments.

Thus far, the National Security Council, the Commerce Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have acknowledged their computer systems have been targeted by hackers but provided no details about the extent of the attack.

The U.S. government did not cite Russia, or any other nation, as being responsible for these attacks.

Reuters initially reported this story on Sunday. Follow-up reports to this story identified Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as the most plausible suspect.

The SVR, roughly equivalent to the CIA in the United States, has been blamed for hacking incidents in the past. More specifically, the hacks in 2014-15, involving the unclassified email systems at the White House, State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On Monday, Russia denied any involvement in this latest computer hacking incident.

This recent hacking incident has prompted the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of Homeland Security, to issue an emergency directive calling on all federal civilian agencies to check their computer networks for signs of any compromise. Members of the FBI, US intelligence communities, and other law enforcement agencies have also been actively investigating this incident.

Written by Jeremy Banks
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


NPR: Russia Suspected In Major Cyberattack On U.S. Treasury, Commerce Departments

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Supermac1961’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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