Wednesday, January 06, 2021
Cyber attack on authorities
FBI sees Russian hackers as masterminds
In a large-scale cyber attack, hackers infiltrate the data networks of several US authorities unnoticed for several months. According to the responsible investigators, the Kremlin is behind the crime. With this accusation, the security services oppose President Trump.
US investigators have officially identified Russia as the alleged perpetrator of the latest massive hacker attack on American authorities and companies. According to previous knowledge, the aim of breaking into the data networks was to collect information, the Federal Police FBI and the NSA interception service announced in a joint statement.
With their statement that “presumably” Russian hackers were at work, the security authorities are clearly against statements made by the outgoing President Donald Trump. After the attack became known, he claimed without any evidence that China could also have been behind it. Meanwhile, IT security experts have been convinced of the Russian trail from the start – and Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and Justice Minister William Barr, who has since retired, also expressed their views.
The large-scale attack was uncovered by the IT security company FireEye, which was itself a target of the hackers. The attackers had gained access to the networks using maintenance software from SolarWinds, which was used in many places, and had remained undetected for months. This is an embarrassing setback for American security services.
While a total of around 18,000 customers were affected by SolarWinds, not all of them had suspicious activities in the networks afterwards, the statement said. Among them were fewer than ten US government agencies. According to initial information, the hackers had broken into systems at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy. One of the concerns afterwards was that they could have smuggled in attack software for attacks on the American power grid, for example.