Tags: hackers | spied | treasury

Commerce Department Confirms Hacking of Government Network

Commerce Department Confirms Hacking of Government Network
(AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 13 December 2020 03:56 PM

The Commerce Department on Sunday said it had been hacked but wouldn’t confirm the group behind the data breach, reports CNN.

"We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus," the department said in a statement to CNN. "We have asked CISA and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this time."

Reuters first reported that a sophisticated hacking group from Russia stole information and were monitoring internal email traffic from the U.S. Treasury Department and a U.S. ad agency responsible for deciding policy around the internet and telecommunications.

Axios later said the Russian hacker group known as Cozy Bear was behind the breach.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also confirmed the incident to CNN, telling the news outlet: "We have been working closely with our agency partners regarding recently discovered activity on government networks."

"CISA is providing technical assistance to affected entities as they work to identify and mitigate any potential compromises," the statement continued.

The hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one of the people familiar with the matter.

The breach presents a major challenge to the incoming administration of Joe Biden as officials investigate what information was stolen and try to ascertain what it will be used for. It is not uncommon for large scale cyber investigations to take months or years to complete.

"This is a much bigger story than one single agency," said one of the people familiar with the matter. "This is a huge cyber espionage campaign targeting the U.S. government and its interests."

Hackers broke into the NTIA's office software, Microsoft's Office 365. Staff emails at the agency were monitored by the hackers for months, sources said.

A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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US
Hackers backed by a foreign government have been monitoring internal email traffic at the U.S. Treasury Department and an agency that decides internet and telecommunications policy, according to people familiar with the matter.
hackers, spied, treasury
313
2020-56-13
Sunday, 13 December 2020 03:56 PM
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