USA / China might be behind the cyberattack on US govt agencies: Trump

Zoom News : Dec 21, 2020, 09:07 AM
Washington: President Donald Trump on Saturday broke his silence about the SolarWinds cyberattack on several US government departments and agencies, alleging that the "Fake News Media" is exaggerating the breach and questioning Chinese involvement instead of focusing Russia, which contradicts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump, in a set of late morning tweets, threw out the possibility that China may have played a role in the technology-driven security breach.

"The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality," Trump wrote. "I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of...discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA."

During a Friday appearance on "The Mark Levin Show," Pompeo stated that the national security breach represented "a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside US government systems."

"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," he said.

Software firm SolarWinds was breached earlier in 2020, when hackers gained access to its systems and put in malicious code in one of its platforms; customers who updated their software for several months then had the malware wedded to their network. Around 18,000 SolarWinds customers downloaded the software with the malicious code, giving the hackers access to internal computer systems.

In a bulletin, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states that the attack severely compromises government networks and the private sector.

"CISA has determined that this threat poses a grave risk to the federal government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations," the bulletin stated.Trump's tweets reignite the controversies behind his general defense of Russia throughout his term in office, from his skepticism that the country interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to him not pressing Russian President Vladimir Putin about the country reportedly paying bounties to Taliban-linked militants to target American troops in Afghanistan.

On December 17, President-elect Joe Biden said that the breach "is a matter of great concern" and pledged to impose "substantial costs" for the parties behind the attack.

"A good defense isn't enough," Biden said in a statement. "We need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyber attacks in the first place."