A hacker attack via the powerful Solarwind software was probably carried out by a hacker of Russian origin. Ann Newberger, deputy national security adviser to the U.S. president, said this on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at a briefing in Washington.
“The intelligence community continues to find out who is behind this. Until that process is completed, I will say that the actors behind the attack are probably of Russian origin,” she told reporters.
Newberger explained that the hackers had done a lot of work that required careful preparation.
“We believe it took them several months to plan the operation,” she added.
Nine federal agencies and about a hundred companies were reportedly affected by the cyberattack. On what basis the conclusion about the Russian origin of the hacker was made, the deputy advisor did not say.
Earlier on February 6, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said that the December 2020 cyberattack on U.S. federal agencies “likely originated in Russia” and was an attempt to obtain intelligence. Evidence of a connection to Russia was again not presented.
In late December 2020, it was reported that Biden’s advisers were discussing the possibility of imposing sanctions against Russia in connection with a cyberattack on U.S. government agencies, which Washington attributed to Moscow. On December 14, The Washington Post reported that a group of hackers backed by a foreign government managed to gain access to the systems of the U.S. Treasury Department and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and steal their data.