Thursday, May 6, 2021

US nuclear weapons agency hacked by suspected Russians

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The US nuclear weapons agency and at least three states have been hacked in a suspected Russian cyber attack that has hit several federal government agencies.

The Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the U.S. nuclear stockpile, have been targeted as part of a larger attack by suspected Russian hackers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The hack affected unclassified systems, the person added. The nuclear agency hack was first reported by Politico.

Additionally, two people familiar with the ongoing investigation said three states were violated in the attack, although they did not identify the states. A third person familiar with the investigation confirmed that states were hacked but did not provide a number.

In a notice on Thursday that reported the alarm expansion During the breach, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said hackers posed a “serious risk” to federal, state and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and the private sector. The agency said the attackers displayed “sophistication and complex know-how.”

While President Donald Trump has yet to publicly address the hacking, President-elect Joe Biden released a statement on Thursday on “what appears to be a massive cybersecurity breach potentially affecting thousands of victims, including US companies. and federal government entities ”.

Biden statement

“I want to be clear: my administration will make cybersecurity a top priority at all levels of government – and we will make tackling this breach a top priority as soon as we take office,” Biden said, pledging to enforce “Substantial costs to those responsible for these malicious attacks. “

Russia has denied any involvement in the hacking.

Although many details are not yet clear, hackers could have gained access to networks by installing malicious code in a widely used software program from SolarWinds, whose clients include government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, according to the company and cybersecurity experts. the the departments of Homeland Security, Treasury, Commerce and State were violated, according to a person familiar with the subject.

“This is a patient, well-resourced and focused adversary who has sustained long-term activity on victim networks,” CISA said in its newsletter.

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