Washington/Moscow: The computer networks of the US Department of Treasury and Commerce have been subjected to a major cyberattack. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have already begun an investigation into the matter, and experts suspect Russia’s hand behind the attacks. Only last week, FireEye, a leading US cybersecurity firm, had been targeted by a major cyber-attack. The attack on the federal agencies is believed a part of the same activity. Russia however, has rebuffed all claims.
On Sunday, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) revealed information on the cybersecurity breach, which targeted computer networks of the Treasury and Commerce Departments. CISR is said to be investigating the hack along with the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and National Security Agency (NSA). Also, the breach was found to have been made several months ago. US media and experts said Russia was involved in the hack, which is the largest cyberattack seen in recent years.
The server software called SolarWinds was used to launch the cyberattack. Also, it was used in the FireEye cyberattack last week. Primary US federal agencies and several of the leading companies listed in the Future 500, use the software. Therefore, US agencies have indicated the cyberattacks are likely to intensify. A National Security Council conference was also held to discuss the matter.
Russian Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, ‘Russia has categorically denied all allegations on its involvement in the cyberattacks. Let me remind you that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who proposed that the American side agree and conclude agreements on cybersecurity. But the US had not responded to the offer. If there have been attacks for many months, and the Americans could not do anything about it, it is probably not worth immediately, groundlessly blaming the Russians. We didn’t have anything to do with it’.
Given the US presidential and congressional elections held in the last month, its results and the change of guard, the discovery of successive cyberattacks assumes much significance. Cyber-attacks were said to have been launched during the 2016 presidential elections, for which Russia had been accused. The Democratic Party and senior officials had alleged the attacks were made for getting Donald Trump elected.