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Pompeo: Russia Behind Widespread Hack Of U.S. Government

Pompeo: Russia Behind Widespread Hack Of U.S. Government

Sen. Marco Rubio says the attack on nation’s computer networks is close to ‘an act of war’

There was a massive cyberattack on a wide array of U.S. networks recently, including systems used by the National Nuclear Security Administration and Energy Department that safeguard the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

They found suspicious activity in networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington, the Office of Secure Transportation at NNSA, and the Richland Field Office of the DOE.

The hackers have been able to do more damage at FERC than the other agencies, and officials there have evidence of highly malicious activity, the officials said, but did not elaborate.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that Russia was behind the widespread attack of these networks.

Mr. Pompeo is the first member of the Trump administration to publicly link the Kremlin to the cyberattack, which used a variety of sophisticated tools to infiltrate dozens of government and private systems, including nuclear laboratories, the Pentagon, and the Treasury and Commerce Departments.

“I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity,” Mr. Pompeo said in an interview on “The Mark Levin Show.”

“This was a very significant effort,” he said, adding that “we’re still unpacking precisely what it is.”

The cyberattack occurred through the hacking of SolarWinds codes.

SolarWinds, the IT company whose product was targeted in the hack, said that nearly 18,000 of its customers received a software update tainted with malware, beginning in March. The malicious code operated as a kind of Trojan horse, enabling hackers to stealthily access the systems of the affected agencies and companies.

The cyberattack operated undetected for months and reportedly hit multiple government agencies, including the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Thursday acknowledged that the hack “poses a grave risk” to federal, state and local governments across the country — but refrained from directly attributing blame.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio demanded retaliation against the hackers responsible for the massive cyber security breach.

“The methods used to carry out the cyberhack are consistent with Russian cyber operations,” Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a tweet. “But it’s crucial we have complete certainty about who is behind this. We can’t afford to be wrong on attribution, because America must retaliate, and not just with sanctions.”

…Rubio said the attack is close to “an act of war” in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Thursday night.

“You saw the bulletin tonight, it went out, it’s a grave risk to federal, to state, to local governments, to critical infrastructure, to the private sector,” Rubio said. “And as far as attribution, when you attribute it to somebody, you have got to know it for sure because it’s a very — this is almost, I would argue — an act of war, absolutely.”


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JusticeDelivered | December 19, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Get the Guardians up to speed, start dropping big rocks. They are likely to be better than nukes. High yield, much less radiation. Real estate can be immediately reclaimed.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to JusticeDelivered. | December 19, 2020 at 9:43 pm


    President Trump Highlights Potential for Chinese Involvement in SolarWinds Orion Cyber Intrusion

    Today, following a briefing on the issues President Trump noted it could be Russia, but it could also be China.

    The Last Refuge

If an espionage service, after hacking a computer system, leaves behind any identifying evidence it has to be for one of 3 reasons:

1- Because they want to be identified, as a show of force
2- Because they are extremely incompetent
3- Because the evidence is misleading, blames somebody else

Remember, we were duped / lied to before. Recently.

    mark311 in reply to Exiliado. | December 19, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    That’s not entirely correct, whilst identification of the responsible party is difficult there are tell tale signs. The nature of the tools used, and previous use of said tools. The nature of the attack pretty much rules everyone out except for a few nation state parties.

      Exiliado in reply to mark311. | December 19, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      You can choose to believe that.

        mark311 in reply to Exiliado. | December 19, 2020 at 5:49 pm

        Not really believing , it’s an extremely sophisticated attack. That takes resources , patience and a lot of technical know how. Whilst that doesn’t exclude the possibility of an independent it makes it much more likely to be a state actor. I’ve no idea on the specifics of how they could determine a particular state actor the articles so far have lacked any analysis on that. As such I can only reasonably surmise it’s a nation state not a specific one.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Exiliado. | December 19, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    You mean the Communist Chinese bribed and owned Democrats did it??????????????

      It would have been remote, I doubt the perpetrators left there respective countries. There is no evidence a domestic user to the USA was responsible. To be honest that’s unlikely , they don’t need them. That’s the thing about the internet this type of attack can be carried out from a sofa in your PJs.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Exiliado. | December 21, 2020 at 6:59 am

    I agree, and the best solution is to punish both. Do we have the capability to cut their Internet access?

The world’s top cyber powers are capable of making their intrusions appear to be from someone else. Because of past deceptions (read: LIES) by our IC, I am skeptical that Russia did it. It was either China, or more likely we are being lied to again. Our own deep state is a far more dangerous threat to our liberty than any foreign actor could hope to be.

Couldn’t Mike be sowing the seeds of misinformation?
I don’t believe anyone.

Maybe a dumb remark, but what was this guy Krebs doing?

Grrr8 American | December 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm

If this is as bad as we’re being told — and one can’t trust the media, as we know painfully well — the either:

1) Our cyber-security people are grossly incompetent (affirmative action hires, perhaps?); or
2) They saw what was occurring and were ordered to allow it to happen.

They didn’t take anything, they didn’t break anything, they didn’t do anything. This ‘attack’ is more bizarre than frightening. As to who did it, my money is on Martians or the CIA. Could be Russians, sure. But I doubt it. You know, I heard the moniker ‘Cozy Bear’ showed up.

Believe Pompeo? Nah. All anyone in Washington does is lie. Ask Bill Barr.

Connivin Caniff | December 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm

If you keep kicking a dog, don’t be surprised if it bites you back. We incompetently and crookedly ruined our chances with the new Russians in the 90’s, and have lied about them ever since. No surprise we are now paying the price.

IMO, Rubio ought to keep his little-man yap shut about war. Are you going to fight it, cobarde con las altos tacones? If you won’t go, shut your pie hole. Sorry for the nasty, people. His remarks about “sanctions aren’t enough” rubbed the skin off me.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to hopeful. | December 19, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Shouldn’t he be at his Foam Parties and those Miami parks.

    Heard last week that the Neo-Con big heads came out of Cornell U.

    Anyone know more about that?

I’m not sure I trust the analysis. When 50 so-called “Intelligence Officials” signed a letter saying: “We want to emphasize that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement –just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” in a statement claiming the Meth-Pipe Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. They don’t know if its true or not, it just ‘sounds’ like something the Russians would do. These are the same intelligence professionals who declared the Russians hacked the DNC email server before the 2016 election without actually examining the server.

I wonder if these are the same ‘professionals’ who brought indictments against 6 alleged Russian intelligence officers (who will never actually see the inside of a U.S. court room) for allegedly interfering in the 2017 French elections but couldn’t find evidence of impropriety and fraud in the 2020 U.S. elections when presented video evidence, statistical analyses, sworn testimony and affidavits from witnesses to voter fraud, ballot tampering, and general election tampering and fraud.

Or are these the same ones who indicted another group of so-called Russian intelligence officers and corporations for interference in the 2016 elections but when one of the corporations showed up to defend itself in court, the prosecutors had no case even prepared. Another corporation they indicted didn’t even exist as a legal entity until after the election was over.

It’s likely that Ukrainian millionaire, Biden, has something to do with this.

Our not so best and not so brightest have failed to learn that like elections, paper is much more secure than computers. Sure, you can steal paper, but you’re not going to sneak it out on thumb drive.

This is not a case of an outside agent exploiting a loop-hole in an operating system, or program. This was a backdoor, knowingly introduced by a “trusted” vendor, which allowed a third party to access a number of computer networks. It was, essentially an inside job. Also, while invasive, it was not a true cyber attack. So far, no mention has been made that the intrusion, which covered several months, did any damage to the systems involved. It was a mining operation, apparently. So, as with several other intrusions, which were immediately blamed on the Russian government, mostly inaccurately, we really have no idea who is responsible. And, that is particularly fascinating, in this case.

In this case, the trojan was introduced in an update from the company used by the agencies for software. Someone had to put the code into the update. This person had to have access to putting the update together. And, that should provide a very short list of potential suspect. By now, we should have identified that person and should know who his handlers are and, very likely, their employers. But, we are getting reports that the claim that the Russian government is involved is based upon techniques used by 10 year old hacking organizations thought to be associated with Russia. Huh??? We spend billions of dollars a year on USIC assets and law enforcement agencies and this is the best they can come up with? No identification of the person responsible for inserting the trojan in the update from the manufacturer and basing a possible identification on the responsible party based upon techniques which have been copied by hackers, both independent and government affiliated.

I am skeptical about this. For a variety of reasons.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Mac45. | December 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm


    “It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Candlestick.”

    markymark in reply to Mac45. | December 21, 2020 at 10:04 am

    This. Since Rubio is now all hot and bothered about and blustering about retaliation I’m almost 100% sure it wasn’t the Russians.

    mark311 in reply to Mac45. | December 21, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    That someone could be anyone with enough resources and know how to carry out said attack. You say there should be a very short list. You are correct it is. A nation state with malicious intent on the USA. I’d say the short list would be North Korea, China and Russia.

Thought I posted this before, but don’t see it: Google an gmail went down the same day, was down for two days. Schwab also went down that day. It was the biggest Schwab down I have seen. They usually only last an hour or so. This one prevented buying for several hours, and then did not allow account information to be accessed til late in the day.

So it’s obvious the trojan got into more than the govt accounts. May have been a test run to see how much damage it could do to the economy, not just the govt. Shutting down a big email carrier and access to the stock market? IMO lots of damage.

When big money can’t buy or sell for half a day, it is going to flee. During a huge snowstorm that shut New York down, some stock exchange people stayed in hotels so they could keep the markets open. This was in the 1990’s, I believe.

Shutting down the stock exchanges would damage the US as a financial center, imo. Not expert here, but it might damage the $ as an international store of value as well.

now it’s russia?
i thought china was responsible for undermining the election.