Washington: The US intelligence and investigation agencies have asserted that Russia was behind the cyberattacks on US government’s critical computer networks. In the cyberattacks exposed last month, computer systems of the Commerce, Energy and Trade departments along with the Nuclear Weapons Network, were found to have been targeted. US Secretary of State had openly confessed that Russia was behind the hack. Now, the US intelligence and investigation agencies have also endorsed the Russian hand behind the cyberattack.
Last December, a major cyber attack was launched on the software firms Cyber Eye and SolarWinds. Over time, thousands of US government departments and undertakings using the companies’ products, were revealed to have been hit in the attack. Because of the hack’s scope and intensity, the National Security Council formed a special task force representing essential agencies.
The task force is called the Cyber Unified Coordination Group and had representation from the National Security Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This group released an independent statement on Tuesday. The report says that Russian hackers’ group ‘Advanced Persistent Threat’ (APT) is the mastermind of the attack. As it has been already exposed that APT works for the Russian agencies, the group’s direct mention becomes significant.
The statement released by the Cyber Unified Coordination Group mentions that the cyberattack launched by Russia, is a serious matter and the process of assessing the scope of the attack, is still ongoing. The statement also warned that the US agencies would retaliate only after determining the attack’s complete scope and extent. In the last decade, there have been significant cyberattacks in the United States, and countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea were found responsible for them. It finds a mention in many government reports as well.
Nevertheless, the open mention of Russia by the Secretary of State, followed by the intelligence and investigative agencies, assumes much significance. US congressmen have even criticised the attack as being an ‘Act of War’.