Whoever was behind the recent SolarWinds hack attack was able to read the emails in “dozens” of accounts at the Treasury Department. The massive breach continues to be blamed on Russia without a whole lot of evidence as to why.
Treasury Department emails compromised
As reported by Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, spies tunneled their way into “systems used by the department’s highest-ranking officials.
The senator issued a formal statement after he and his Senate Finance Committee were briefed on the matter by officials from Treasury and the IRS.
According to Wyden, there’s no suggestion at this time that any taxpayer data was compromised. The attackers were after inside intelligence. That’s why this hack in particular “appears to be significant.”
The data pirates strolled off with “encryption keys from U.S. government servers.” As Wyden admits, “Treasury still does not know all of the actions taken by hackers, or precisely what information was stolen.”
At this time, the intelligence community has no idea what the criminal intruders intend to do with the information they accessed.
Simply knowing the pending policy decisions could be used to seriously disrupt the economy with an attack meant to manipulate the markets. It’s no surprise that the Treasury Department isn’t commenting on Wyden’s statement at this time.
Full extent not known
The full extent of the massive hack attack still isn’t known and while the mainstream network media has already pronounced judgement that Russia is behind it, there are those who have doubts.
China may have had a hand in it just as easily. It’s not inconceivable that the Russians are being framed for this job. The Treasury department was one of the first ones that admitted being hacked.
Along with the Treasury department, responsible for printing our money, as well as funding all those stimulus checks and generally managing the nation’s money supply, a “broad spectrum of departments” across government were hit.
Even the Department of Energy, which is responsible for managing the nuclear stockpile. Last week the Department of Homeland Security called the intrusion a “grave” risk to government and private networks.
As noted by Senator Wyden, the Treasury department attack started in July, but “experts believe the overall hacking operation began months earlier.”
That was when the malware was injected into the SolarWinds updates and infected the “popular software that monitors computer networks of businesses and governments.”