It was clear from the start that a cyber attack by suspected Russian hackers aimed at several U.S. government agencies was going to be bad. One clue: National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien cut short a trip overseas early this week to rush back to Washington to help manage the crisis.
But on Thursday, the reality of just how sprawling — and potentially damaging — the breach might be came into sharper focus. It started with a bulletin from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, warning that the hackers were sophisticated, patient and well-resourced, representing a “grave risk” to federal, state and local governments as well as critical infrastructure and the private sector. It didn’t take long to see how accurate the agency’s assessment was.
Bloomberg News reported that at least three state governments were hacked. That was followed by reports of other breaches: the city network in Austin, Texas, and the U.S. nuclear weapons agency. Late in the day software giant Microsoft Corp. said its systems were exposed.
… effect of Thursday’s revelations was confirmation that no single person or agency — including the highest reaches of the U.S. government — is certain of exactly what the hackers had infiltrated, let alone the full extent of what was taken.https://t.co/vm8C7Ay8i2
— Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman (@RhiFionn) December 18, 2020