A week ago, the United States government announced that multiple federal agencies of the country had been targeted by a cyberattack, now being considered as the worst cyberattack in US history.
Several large agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the department in charge of the United States’ nuclear armaments were allegedly targeted, as well as large tech companies such as Microsoft. While US federal officials have said that these cyber attacks could be a “grave risk” for all departments of the government. US President Donald Trump, after days of silence, said that there is nothing to worry about and that the situation is “well under control”. President elect Joe Biden has promised a tougher response to such cyber attacks but no specific operations have been mentioned as of yet.
This hacking operation began all the way back in March, when a malicious code was snuck into updates to a popular software called Orion, made by the company SolarWinds, which provides network-monitoring and other technical services to hundreds of thousands of organizations around the world. At least six different government departments have been affected by this breach, as well as dozens of science and technology firms. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Russia for the recent cyberattacks, by saying that he is “pretty sure” of his accusations.
In a recent interview, he said - "I can’t say much more as we’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified. But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. Government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well. This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”