National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot didn’t directly confirm the hacks, but said the government was “aware” of reports and was “taking all necessary steps” to pinpoint and resolve any security issues.
Regardless of how sensitive the data was, the apparent incidents would represent serious violations of government security. It’s also not a good look for the current US administration. As Bing noted, this came just weeks after President Trump fired election cybersecurity director Chris Krebs for publicly debunking unsupported claims about voting system fraud. There isn’t a top cybersecurity official, either. Simply speaking, it comes at a moment when US leadership against these kinds of attacks is at a low point.
Update 12/13 5:30PM ET: The Washington Post’s connections claim Russia’s APT29, also known as Cozy Bear, is linked to the Treasury and NTIA hacks. The state-backed group targeted the White House and State Department during President Obama’s tenure, and has been tied to attempts to steal COVID-19 vaccine research. The hacking campaign has supposedly been running for months.
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