State-sponsored Russian hackers reportedly accessed US government agencies

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While the COVID-19 has seen a sharp rise in hackers targeting those working from home a result of the pandemic, state-sponsored cybercrime still looks to be on the agenda for many.

This as a report from The Washington Post (paywall) says hacking group, APT29 (aka Cozy Bear), targeted and breached a number of government agencies in the United States.

It is not the first time that this group of hackers has been cited for cyberattacks in the US, with it recently responsible for a breach at cybersecurity firm FireEye, as well as the State Department and White House during the Obama administration.

This latest attack appears to have targeted the Treasury and Commerce departments in particular.

At this stage, the full extent of the attacks are unknown, but the situation called on the National Security Council to hold an emergency meeting over the weekend.

Speaking to Reuters following the meeting, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot noted that they, “are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation.”

Responding to allegations that the attacks were state-sponsored, the Russian Foregin Ministry took to Facebook to issue a statement.

“We declare responsibly: malicious activities in the information space contradicts the principles of the Russian foreign policy, national interests and our understanding of interstate relations. Russia does not conduct offensive operations in the cyber domain,” it reads.

“What is more, the Russian Federation actively promotes bilateral and multilateral cyber security agreements,” the statement adds. 

With several institutions and intelligence agencies in the US now investigation the situation, we should hopefully have greater clarity regarding the attacks in the coming days and weeks.

[Image – Photo by Дмитрий Хрусталев-Григорьев on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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