According to a report from various online news sources, Russian hackers breached the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments and monitored the emails sent by the employees. The hack is being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security‘s cybersecurity arm. The attack was also discussed by the U.S. National Security Council official at a meeting held on Saturday at the White House.
State-sponsored hacker group
FBI is currently looking into a hacker group working for the Russian foreign intelligence service, SVR. This is also the hacker group that hacked the State Department and White House during the Obama administration. The hackers are known as Cozy Bear or APT29 and they managed to monitor the email traffic within the departments for months. Currently, there is no information about if the other federal agencies have been compromised or not. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said,
“The United States government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation.”
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov denied the allegation and said,
“If there have been attacks for many months, and the Americans could not do anything about it, it is probably not worth immediately groundlessly blaming the Russians. We didn’t have anything to do with it.”