Hackers also 'impacting' state, local governments, US cybersecurity agency says

Hackers also 'impacting' state, local governments, US cybersecurity agency says
© Greg Nash

The top U.S. cybersecurity agency said that an extensive campaign that gave hackers access to networks at several federal agencies is also "impacting" state and local governments.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in a statement posted to its website that the intrusion, which targeted U.S. tech company SolarWinds's software to infiltrate government systems, was “impacting enterprise networks across federal, state, and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.”

CISA did not identify specific governments or agencies, but urged them to take precautions.

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“This threat actor has the resources, patience, and expertise to gain access to and privileges over highly sensitive information if left unchecked. CISA urges organizations to prioritize measures to identify and address this threat,” it said. 

The statement comes as the federal government grapples with the fallout of the sprawling hack, which officials have attributed to Russia. The Treasury, Commerce and Energy departments were just a few of the agencies that were breached, and experts have warned that it could take months to discover the full extent of the intrusion.

The scope of the campaign led some lawmakers to call for some form of retaliation against Russia and an overview of the U.S.’s cyber capabilities. President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE, however, downplayed the attack and contradicted his officials by suggesting China may be to blame in his only public remarks on the hacking to date.

“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!),” Trump tweeted over the weekend.