Russian Hackers Had Access to U.S. Systems All Year

Written by SK Ashby

The National Security Council held an emergency meeting at the White House on Saturday, December 12th, to discuss what is apparently a very significant hack and compromise of computer systems across the entire federal government including the Pentagon and the White House itself.

Although the Council met just two days ago, the backdoor into government systems has reportedly been in place since March of this year.

The Washington Post reports that Russian state-sponsored hackers are believed to be behind the breach that originated at a software vendor for the federal government.

The FBI is investigating the campaign, which may have begun as early as spring, and had no comment Sunday. The victims have included government, consulting, technology, telecom, and oil and gas companies in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, according to FireEye, a cyber firm that itself was breached. [...]

All of the organizations were breached through the update server of a network management system made by the firm SolarWinds, FireEye said in a blog post Sunday.

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert Sunday warning about an “active exploitation” of the SolarWinds Orion Platform, from versions of the software released in March and June.

Officials who spoke to the Washington Post off the record say Russia's "Cozy Bear" hacking group is responsible for the breach and that name may sound familiar because they were also behind a similar breach during the Obama administration.

In the latter case, Russian hackers penetrated the State Department and White House email servers, but the implications in this case are far more severe.

SolarWinds, the software platform behind the hack, has contracts with most of the federal government including the Pentagon, the NSA, NASA, the Department of Justice, and even the Postal Service among others. And it's not clear yet just how far the intrusion goes, but it appears the hackers had at least some level of access to government systems for the past eight months.

It immediately struck me that none of us can have any expectation at all that the Trump regime will retaliate in any way or even acknowledge and discuss the details of this attack publicly. And fortunately, Trump won't be in White House much longer, but it's remarkable, isn't? Trump's Republican regime began with a refusal to point fingers at Russia and it may end the same way.

I am actually old enough to remember when the Republican party branded itself as the party of "national security," but they can't and/or won't protect us from anything.

Republicans won't protect you from state-sponsored hackers, or a deadly pandemic, or medical bankruptcy, or natural disasters and climate change. They won't protect you from virtually anything except minorities voting and living wages. They are good for nothing but upholding white supremacy.