Russian Hackers Breached U.S. Agencies, Officials Confirm

Hackers suspected to be linked to a Russian intelligence campaign have breached United States federal agencies, including the Treasury Department and the Commerce Department, on Dec. 13.

Hackers suspected to be linked to a Russian intelligence campaign have breached United States federal agencies, including the Commerce Department and the Treasury Department, on Dec. 13.

“We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus,” the Commerce Department said in a statement to CNN, adding that they have alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the Homeland Security Department.

CISA also confirmed the breach and said it was investigating “recently discovered activity on government networks” as they work closely with their agency partners.

The White House National Security Council also confirmed an investigation into a potential data breach at the Treasury Department, following a report from The Washington Post. The report said that the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR) hacked internal government e-mails at the Treasury Department.

“The United States government is aware of these reports, and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation,” National Security Council Spokesperson John Ullyot said in a statement.

Citing three anonymous sources, the Washington Post also reported that the hackers used network management system SolarWinds to breach the federal agencies, including FireEye last Dec. 8.

FireEye last week reported hackers with “top-tier offensive capabilities” stole information on their government clients, as well as “Red Team” tools that were used to detect weaknesses in the security of its customers by mimicking the behavior of hackers.

CNN reported last week that SVR, also known as APT29 or Cozy Bear, was a possible culprit behind the breach on FireEye.


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