The cyber attack on the United States continues to branch out: “It is quite clear that the Russians …

US Secretary of State Pompeo confirms Russia’s involvement in widespread cyber attack on US • Among hundreds of hacked companies: Cisco Information Technology Company and US ISP • President Trump remains silent


Illustration (Photo: JARIRIYAWAT, ShutterStock)

Hacker. Illustration | Photography: JARIRIYAWAT, ShutterStock

The break-in apparently carried out by Russian hackers to US intelligence agencies also included a break-in to lower-profile organizations. Among them – an American Internet provider, groups in the UK, according to Internet data collected and security sources reported to Reuters. US Secretary of State Pompeo: “I think this is a case where it can be said quite clearly that the Russians were involved in this activity.”

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More details were revealed yesterday about the widespread cyber attack that took place a week ago. The American company Cisco Systems, which specializes in information technology, reported that malware was found on some computers in some of its laboratories – without specifying whether any information had been stolen.

US President Donald Trump (Photo: Al Drago, GettyImages)
Still silent. President Trump | Photo: Al Drago, GettyImages

In the UK, a small number of organizations have been exposed and endangered as a result of that attack. An expert in the field said that among those organizations were not included public organizations. According to Reuters, among the organizations that were hacked was Cox Communications, a company that provides Internet in the United States.

Cisco Systems (Photo: AP)
Among the companies that were hacked: Cisco Systems | Photo: AP

The breach to U.S. government agencies involved intrusion into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Over the weekend, Microsoft also announced that it was among the companies damaged by the cyber attack. The company noted that problematic versions of some software have been installed on more than 40 of its customers worldwide. 80% of the victims are in the US and the rest in 7 other countries: Israel, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Military facilities and hundreds of companies were broken into

According to the suspicion, the Russian hackers managed to infiltrate military facilities, intelligence agencies, nuclear facilities and 500 private companies. Researchers and cyber experts say they are surprised by the quality and sophistication of the Russian operation, saying that it is a very high capability. Security officials declined to say how much use was made of the software through which the Russians managed to infiltrate, but the Information Security Agency ordered all bodies to shut down the damaged system.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / Sputnik / AFP, Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia | Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / Sputnik / AFP, Getty Images

Information security experts estimate that 18,000 private users and government officials clicked on a link that allegedly contained a software update but was infected with a Trojan horse virus, and so the Russians were able to penetrate the protection layer and enter the system. The hackers implemented the malicious code in SolarWinds’ Orion software, and the company said that half of the 33,000 users who downloaded the Russian update were affected by it.