The hackers are believed to be working for Russia, the US Treasury Department and an Internet and telecommunications policy-making agency monitoring internal email traffic, according to people familiar with the matter.
There is concern within the US intelligence community that hackers who targeted the Treasury and Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration used the same tool to gain access to other government agencies, according to four people. Gone. People did not say what the other agencies were.
Three people familiar with the investigation said Russia was now believed to be behind the attack.
The two men said the violations were part of a wider campaign that included recent revelations about Fireie, a major cyber security company linked to government and trade agreements.
“The United States Government is aware of these reports and is taking all necessary steps to identify and address any potential issues related to this situation,” said John Ulliot, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
The hack is so serious that it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one person familiar with the matter.
The Commerce Department has confirmed that one of its agencies has been violated. “We have asked the Security Agency and the FBI to investigate cybersecurity and basic security, and we cannot comment further at this time.”
The breach comes as the president faces a major challenge to Biden’s future administration as officials investigate what information was stolen and try to find out what it will be used for. It is not uncommon for large-scale cyber investigations to take months or years to complete.
“It’s a bigger story than a single agency,” said one person familiar with the matter. “This is a major cyber espionage operation targeting the US government and its interests.”
Sources said that the hackers hacked the office software of NTIA Microsoft Office 365.
A Microsoft spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did a spokesman for the Treasury Department.
The hackers are “extremely intelligent” and have been able to control the authentication control of the Microsoft platform, according to a person familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the press.
A different person reported the matter. “This is a nation,” he said.
The full scope of the violation is unclear. According to three people familiar with the matter, the investigation is still in its infancy and involves several federal agencies, including the FBI.
A spokesman for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said they were “working closely with our agency partners on the recent discovery of activity on the government network. CISA is providing technical assistance to affected organizations because They work to identify and minimize any potential compromises. “
The FBI and US National Security Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There are indications that the email deal at NTIA is for this summer, although it was discovered recently, according to a senior US official.
(Except for the headline, this story is not edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)