Russia 'pretty clearly' behind massive cyberattack on US, says Pompeo

·1-min read
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (File Photo)
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (File Photo)

Washington [US], December 19 (ANI): Russia was "pretty clearly" behind the massive cyberattack against multiple United States federal agencies and thousands of individual, federal and private entities, said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Friday, who became the first member of the Trump administration to blame Russia.

"I can't say much more as we're still unpacking precisely what it is, and I'm sure some of it will remain classified. But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. Government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well," The Hill quoted Pompeo as saying on "The Mark Levin Show."

"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.

Experts say the effort, which targeted third-party software contractor SolarWinds, blindsided the United States government, with numerous federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and Treasury Department reportedly breached, The Hill reported.

While Trump is silent on the attack, President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to "elevate" cybersecurity throughout government and "make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office."

"Our adversaries should know that, as President, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation," The Hill quoted Biden as saying on Thursday, adding his administration would impose "substantial costs" on anyone responsible for malicious attacks to deter such action. (ANI)