Russians are suspected of ‘stealing thousands of State Department emails’ in the latest hack against the US.
Russians suspected of ‘stealing thousands of State Department emails’ in latest hack against US government
- The cyber attack is the second breach in the department by Russians in a decade
- They gained access to the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- The hack comes after an espionage campaign targeting SolarWinds software
Russian hackers are suspected of stealing thousands of emails from the State Department last year, two congressional sources have revealed.
The cyber attack is the second breach by Russians against the department’s email server in ten years.
The hackers were given access to emails from the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, according to Politics
Russian hackers suspected of stealing thousands of State Department emails last year, two congressional sources have revealed
The hackers are believed to have been denied access to the classified network.
The hack comes after an espionage campaign in which Russian hackers gained access to federal and private networks using SolarWinds software.
The government and industry are using the software developed by the IT company SolarWinds, which was exposed in a breach.
At least nine federal agencies and 100 private sector groups were targeted in the hack, a White House official said, because they directly accused the Russian government of the attack.
It is not known if the latest breach was part of the same campaign to address the software bug.
The hack comes after an espionage campaign in which Russian hackers gained access to federal and private networks using SolarWinds software
A State Department spokesperson said: “ The Department takes its responsibility to protect its information seriously and is constantly taking steps to ensure that information is protected.
“For security reasons, we are currently not in a position to discuss the nature or extent of suspected cyber incidents.”
Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger also said the White House would not comment on the latest hack.
But she added that the government had identified five cybersecurity flaws at federal agencies that are being modernized to prevent future vulnerabilities.
She said, “Several federal agencies have been hacked in the past year. As part of the government’s SolarWinds assessment, we found significant gaps in cybersecurity measures at federal agencies.
“We have identified five specific cybersecurity modernization areas, tested agencies on them, and are implementing a Build Back Better plan to rapidly fund and roll out these technologies to address vulnerabilities and modernize our cybersecurity approach.”
Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger said the White House is undergoing software modernization
The latest email theft indicated that hackers have had access to more information than previously known.
The desks focused on matters related to US allies, such as NATO and European and Indo-Pacific partners.
The Kremlin has used cyber warfare to spread disinformation, access sensitive material and sow controversy.
Russian hackers previously targeted the State Department and the White House in 2015 in what was then labeled the “ worst ” cyberattack ever against a federal agency.
Because people have been working from home for the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, servers are often less secure, leaving federal workers more vulnerable to attack.
It was revealed Monday that top State Department officials, including former DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf, were among those compromised by the SolarWinds campaign.
It comes amid icy Washington-Moscow relations after Biden claimed Putin was a ‘murderer’
They also broke into the Energy Department networks and the National Security Administration networks dealing with nuclear weapons.
Joe Biden’s new administration is investigating the full extent of the SolarWinds hack, but has publicly disclosed little about the extent of the breach.
Russia previously targeted US election campaigns, gaining access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta in 2016.
The US has responded with sanctions against Russian officials in an attempt to deter cyber-attacks, and a number of Kremlin hackers have been charged.
It comes amid icy relations between Washington and Moscow after Biden claimed Putin was a “ murderer, ” prompting the Russian president to withdraw his US ambassador.