I guess since Trump won’t do his job, Pompeo finally decided to do his and announce that yeah, Russia “pretty clearly” did hack our Government systems.
How long before Donald Trump either disputes that we know its Russia or tries to fire Pompeo?
Pompeo made the comments during an interview on the Mark Levin Show, effectively making him the first Trump administration official to publicly link the attack on U.S. and other computer systems around the globe to the Kremlin.
NBC News is also reporting on this story:
“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,” Pompeo said. “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.”
When asked if President Donald Trump would speak out during the investigation, Pompeo said sometimes the “wiser course of action to protect the American people is to calmly go about your business and defend freedom.”
I want to know what Pompeo (or cough cough — TRUMP) is doing to “defend freedom”. I mean, really. That is oh so special coming from the team that wants to disenfranchise voters, commit acts of treason and sedition, and promote violence against fellow Americans for their skin color or what party they are affiliated with.
The cyberattack began as early as March but was only discovered this month. Many of the targets were government agencies, companies that contract with governments or think tanks. Information and technology companies were also hit, according to Microsoft.
Members of the Homeland Security and Oversight Committee said on Friday that they were briefed on the matter but were left with “more questions than answers.”
So Putin and his pals began to attack us as the Coronavirus Pandemic was the focus of the country as shutdowns were being instituted.
I guess this is one thing Pompeo has decided to do in response:
State Department officials confirmed on Friday that the last two remaining U.S. consulates in Russia, in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and in Yekaterinburg just east of the Ural Mountains, will be closing. In a statement, a spokesperson said the decision was made “to optimize the work of the U.S. mission in Russia.”
“The resulting realignment of personnel at U.S. Embassy Moscow will allow us to advance our foreign policy interests in Russia in the most effective and safe manner possible,” the statement read in part.
Seems like an appropriately proportioned response to a major breach of sensitive American systems involved in National Security — NOT.
WIRED has a more detailed story on the breadth of the attack, which started in October and but the switch was flipped, so to speak, in March, via a software patch.
The hackers, who have been widely reported as Russian, compromised high-profile targets like the US Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Energy Departments, as well as companies like the security firm FireEye. All of the attacks appear to stem from one initial compromise of the IT infrastructure and network-management firm SolarWinds. Hackers had breached the company as far back as October 2019, then planted malicious code in software updates to its network-monitoring tool, Orion. Any customer that installed an Orion patch released between March and June inadvertently planted a Russian backdoor on their own network.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it “has determined that this threat poses a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.” CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are all part of a “Cyber Unified Coordination Group” that is quarterbacking the US government’s response to the widespread intrusions and working to get a handle on the scale and scope of the situation as quickly as possible.
Identifying exactly what was taken is challenging and time consuming. For example, some reports have indicated that hackers breached critical systems of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for the US nuclear weapons arsenal. But DOE spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement late Thursday that while attackers did access DOE “business networks,” they did not breach “the mission-essential national security functions of the Department.”
The only problem is, how do we know whether those in the Trump administration would even disclose the true extent of the breach? Or how do we know if this breach isn’t a way to help enable the Trump team to maintain control of the Federal government? I know that last question is a huge leap at this stage, but given this administration’s actions of late, interfering with the transition activities with the Biden team, we need to at least consider the possibility. I mean we have all seen all the Russia connections with the Trump team related to the 2016 election….
I hope the Biden team has their eyes wide open looking at all the possible implications of this breach. I am not having the warm fuzzies about what the criminal Trump empire and his pal Putin would or wouldn’t do to maintain their power in the world.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.