Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia told Newsmax TV on Friday that a sophisticated cyberattack on multiple federal agencies, departments, and defense contractors supposedly from Russia could rise to the level of an act of war, which would require an even greater response from the U.S. government.
''It could be (an act of war),'' Hice said on ''Stinchfield.'' ''We are just — I’ll just say for me — we’re just now getting briefed on this and getting the information. I don’t think at this time we fully know the damage that has been done. But if what has been done reaches the level of possibilities of what we most fear, then this certainly could be something that, without question, needs to have a U.S. response.
''We are well equipped when it comes to our cyber capabilities and I think now may be the time that we begin to see how effective those capabilities are.''
The 60-year-old Republican, who in November won a fourth term to represent Georgia’s 10th Congressional District east of Atlanta to the South Carolina border, referred to reports, which initially surfaced on Sunday and pointed to Russia, about attacks on the computer systems of the Department of Homeland Security and thousands of U.S. businesses.
The departments of treasury, commerce, defense, as well as the National Nuclear Security Agency and three states also were compromised, according to the reports.
The cyberattack reportedly was accomplished through software distributed by technology company SolarWinds, which said 18,000 of its customers had downloaded a compromised update that allowed hackers to spy unnoticed on businesses and agencies for almost nine months. The United States issued an emergency warning on Sunday ordering government users to disconnect SolarWinds software which it said had been compromised by "malicious actors."
Russia has denied involvement.
''You want to be very careful, you’ve got to know what was taken, but then there needs to be — not only a similar response — but a stronger response, to make sure this type of thing never happens again,'' Hice said.
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