A massive cyberattack has been discovered at more than six US federal agencies including the National Nuclear Security Administration which is responsible for keeping America’s nuclear weapons secure.
The hack also included intrusions into the US Treasury, Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control.
Spies Have Infiltrated US Nuclear Stockpile Systems
According to the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Energy Rocky Campione, a highly-planned spying operation broke into computer networks at the National Nuclear Security Administration and Energy Department including on computer systems related to the nuclear sites at Los Alamos in New Mexico, and various other sensitive locations related to America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
Officials are reporting that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been working overtime to fight back against the cyberattack but needs extra help, especially since its previous director Christopher Krebs was fired by President Trump last month after Krebs disagreed with the President that the election was fraudulently stolen.
As federal agents continue to track exactly what happened, they say it could be weeks more before they know exactly who was behind the hack and why. Representatives did say that the “business” side of the secure networks appears to have been the only part compromised in the cyberattack.
Specifically, hackers seem to have got through into networks via software from the company SolarWinds, which provides the software for many government agencies.
US national security experts are saying Russian intelligence was likely behind the hack, which some are calling a “digital pearl harbor.” Experts believe the US nuclear stockpile core system is still secure, but warn that hackers may have breached sensitive information that could allow them to cripple the US electrical grid or know more about US nuclear security procedures.
Mitt Romney Slams Trump White House for ‘Inaction’ and ‘Inexcusable Silence’
As news of the cyberattack broke, Republican Senator Mitt Romney has slammed the White House for “inaction” and not speaking out on the hack, saying national security is at stake.
Sen. Mitt Romney now slams “inexcusable silence and inaction from the White House” amid revelations Russia conducted extensive hack of US federal govt and infiltrated agency that oversees nuclear stockpile.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 17, 2020
Warnings about a massive cyberattack of this kind have been warned about for decades and Senator Dick Durbin has even called the attack a “virtual declaration of war.”
In an opinion article published in Reuters all the way back in 2013, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse warned of the danger of a cyberattack and America’s vulnerability, writing:
“Foreign agents raid our companies, stealing plans, formulas and designs. Foreign criminal networks take money out of our banks, defraud consumers with scams and sell illicit goods and products, cheating U.S. manufacturers. It may be the greatest illicit transfer of wealth in human history…
Americans should not be in the dark about the risks we face. The government should do more public reporting, and companies should be candid with shareholders and customers about the problems…
Imagine waking up one morning to find the power out at home, and no signal on the phone or computer to tell you what’s going on. You drive into town and find dozens of people in front of the banks, wondering why the ATMs aren’t working. There are lines at gas stations and supermarkets because businesses can’t process sales on credit or debit cards.
The failures all around you – no heat or air conditioning, no banking, no Internet or phone, and cash-only sales in the stores that are open – have no end in sight. There may even be smoke on the horizon from a plant on the outskirts of town, aflame because of compromised equipment.
A cyber-attack could cause all this. We need to work together to ensure America never has to face that day.”
The Investigation Continues
At this point the SolarWinds hack is still under investigation and it is not yet clear just how much information may have been compromised. Although investigators are assuring the public that core nuclear security is still intact there is definitely reason to be alarmed at the intrusion and to consider its implications for national security.
It is clear that part of the reason for this cyberattack is a failure to properly respond to communist China’s 2015 mega-hack of the Office of Personnel Management. Instead, the federal government and media was laser-focused on the fake Russiagate Hoax and trying to find a way to impeach President Trump over a phone call to Ukraine.