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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Suspected Russian hackers spied on U.S. agencies

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Suspected Russian hackers spied on U.S. agencies
Suspected Russian hackers spied on U.S. agencies

Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at a U.S. government department and agency, according to people familiar with the matter.

Freddie Joyner has more.

Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at the U.S. Treasury Department as well as an agency that decides internet and telecommunications policy.

That's according to multiple people familiar with the matter, who also said there is concern within the U.S. intelligence community that the hackers used a similar tool to break into other government agencies.

Three of the people familiar with the investigation said Russia is currently believed to be behind the attack.

Two of the people said that the breaches are connected to a broad campaign that also involved the recently disclosed hack on FireEye, a major U.S. cybersecurity company with government and commercial contracts.

A National Security Council spokesman said "the U.S. government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation." One of the people familiar with the matter said the hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday.

Sources told Reuters that hackers broke into the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Microsoft's Office 365 software and that staff emails at the agency were monitored by the hackers for months.

The investigation into the breach is still in its early stages and involves a range of federal agencies, including the FBI, according to the three people familiar with the matter.

There is some indication that the email compromise at NTIA dates back to this summer, although it was only recently discovered, according to a senior U.S. official.

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