Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Russia was “pretty clearly” behind the gravest cyberattack against the United States on record.
We are not exactly positive on what the hackers were looking for, but experts are saying that it could include nuclear secrets and blueprints for advanced weaponry.
“We’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified,” Pompeo said in an interview late Friday with radio talk show host Mark Levin. “But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well. 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.”
Deputy White House press secretary Brian Morgenstern told reporters that national security adviser Robert O’Brien has sometimes been leading multiple daily meetings with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence agencies to gather more information.
The Democratic leaders of four House committees given classified briefings by the administration on the hack issued a statement complaining that they “were left with more questions than answers.”
“Administration officials were unwilling to share the full scope of the breach and identities of the victims,” they said.
Pompeo, had an interview with Levin who said Russia was on the list of “folks that want to undermine our way of life, our republic, our basic democratic principles. … You see the news of the day with respect to their efforts in the cyberspace. We’ve seen this for an awfully long time, using asymmetric capabilities to try and put themselves in a place where they can impose costs on the United States.”
Many federal workers — and others in the private sector — must presume that unclassified networks are working with spies.
“We should buckle up. This will be a long ride,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and former chief technical officer of the leading cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. “Cleanup is just phase one.”