United States Under Attack
CNBC Dec 14, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration acknowledged reports on Sunday that a group backed by a foreign government carried out a cyberattack on the U.S. Treasury Department and a section of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“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 spokesman John Ullyot wrote in an emailed statement to CNBC.
A Department of Commerce spokesperson confirmed the hack.
“We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus. We have asked CISA and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this time,” a spokesperson for Commerce told NBC News. The hack was first reported by Reuters.
The hackers are suspected of targeting the Treasury Department as well as the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, a U.S. agency that is tasked with crafting internet and telecommunications policy, Reuters reported.
The elaborate cyber hack that was launched on NTIA involved the organization’s Microsoft Office 365 platform, according to Reuters. Microsoft declined to comment.
It was not immediately clear what information was compromised by the cyber breach.
The Washington Post linked the hack, which occurred over the weekend, to a group working for the Russian foreign intelligence service.