Russia 'pretty clearly' behind cyber attack, says US Secretary of State Pompeo

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 19, 2020, 01:21 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )

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United States Secretary Mike Pompeo claimed that Russia was “pretty clearly” behind the cyberattack in the country, which targeted key government departments in the country

United States Secretary Mike Pompeo claimed that Russia was “pretty clearly” behind the cyberattack in the country, which targeted key government departments in the country. 

On Thursday, American company Microsoft claimed that it reached out 40 customers who were hit by the attack. Analysts believed that the victims of the attack could have led the hackers to access of key government systems, utilities, and electric power grids.

"There was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of US government systems," Pompeo said on The Mark Levin Show on Friday.

"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”, Pompeo added.

Also read: US intel agencies warn of an ongoing cyber attack on government

The attack affected mostly customers from the United States, according to Microsoft president Brad Smith, who divulged more details in the blog post. 

At least 80 per cent of the customers who were affected hailed from the United States, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. "It's certain that the number and location of victims will keep growing”, Smith said.

"This is not 'espionage as usual,' even in the digital age," Smith added. "Instead, it represents an act of recklessness that created a serious technological vulnerability for the United States and the world”, Smith put forward.

Also read: EU's medicines agency responsible for vaccine approval suffers cyber attack

The CEO of Denim Group - a security firm, John Dickson said. “Everyone is in damage assessment now because it's so big… It's a severe body blow to confidence both in government and critical infrastructure”.

The reported attack injected malware into copier systems through enterprise management network software which was made by SolarWinds, an IT company based out of Texas.

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