U.S Cyber Attack

Kyle Champeau

National News made headlines on December 13th, as the U.S has faced one of the greatest attacks on it in history. There’s only one problem, the attack wasn’t physical, but spread through major amounts of technology within the United states.

Many important corporations and government offices were breached in this incident, and very critical information whose quantity that isn’t even fully known at this time has been taken or possibly edited.   It is unknown what the extent of this attack fully is yet, but it’s very likely that there will still be more damage done, as it might still have code hidden that can still run, and give the hackers another pass in. It is theorized that the beginning of the hacking sequence started early September 2019, with small sequences leading into the programs before they gained control of the server. The hackers may have had access to these company and government files for at least 8 months without detection, including very important files such as nearly full access to government files.

The computer virus was passed through legitimate update files, but with malicious code to make back doors in the security of many major corporations. Hidden code was also embedded within the users files, that may have the potential to cause damage to both major corporations and those who are connected to them, as John Hultquist (a senior director at FireEye.) states “If it is cyber-espionage, it is one of the most effective cyber-espionage operations we’ve seen in quite some time.” Which means that if this is as a highly concentrated attack as though initially, it would be one of the most effective cyber attacks of all time.

The hidden code makes it highly likely that more people will be exposed to the effects of the hack, as people who use their email or phones for accounts can get hacked as well. 

The ones responsible for this cyberattack is speculated to be a Russian hacker group called APT- 29. Though it likely wouldn’t be possible for the relatively small squad of hackers to complete such a big feat without help from the Russian government. When questioned about the attacks the Russian embassy in the US stated in a facebook post that “Russia does not conduct offensive operations in the cyber domain.” 

While it is not fully possible to trace the origin of the breach yet, it is assumed that Russia may be hiding the truth as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in a radio interview on the Mark Levin show, very confidently “we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity”. It is only completely known that our country’s secrets have been undoubtedly taken by someone. The power held upon by the hackers has only risen, as classified information has been leaked and thousands upon thousands of private files companies once thought secure are now available for purchase from the deep web. Don’t just think this will affect major corporations though,  As you just may be the next victim.