Trump Silent Over Mysterious Cyber Attack On US Government, So It Must Be Serious.

Under Trump there seldom were bad feelings for Putin
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December 17th, 2020–When President Donald Trump convened his Cabinet at the White House Wednesday as Washington absorbed news of a massive data breach, the heads of most agencies relevant to the intrusion — including the Department of Defense, the State Department, the Justice Department, the director of national intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency — were absent, CNN reported.

After the meeting, Trump said nothing about the attack, which went undetected by his administration’s intelligence agencies for months. As those agencies now mobilize to assess the damage — which the government said Thursday could be more widespread than initially thought, posing a “grave risk to the federal government” — the President himself remains silent on the matter, preoccupied instead with his election loss and his invented claims of widespread voter fraud.

The massive data breach, revealed in the final weeks of Trump’s administration, amounts to a dramatic coda for a presidency clouded by questions of deference to Russia and unsuccessful attempts to warm relations with its President, Vladimir Putin. Just as he has largely ignored the latest surge in coronavirus cases, Trump appears to have all but abdicated responsibility in his final weeks in office.

The White House has not listed an intelligence briefing on the President’s daily schedule since early October, though officials say he is regularly briefed on intelligence even when a formal briefing doesn’t appear on his calendar and a senior White House official told CNN that Trump was briefed on the hack by his top intelligence officials on Thursday.

Members of President-elect Joe Biden’s staff were also briefed by officials on the massive intrusion, an official from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said.

Biden himself has also been given details in his daily classified briefing, which has been listed on his public schedule each day this week.

It was a measure of the sudden panic sweeping federal offices that the Department of Homeland Security ordered all agencies late Sunday night to shut down any use of a complex piece of network management software made by a company called SolarWinds and installed on networks belonging to government agencies and American corporations.

The order was so urgent that it gave a deadline of noon on Monday for “a completion report” confirming that the software was no longer in use.

The U.S. government has not yet blamed any country, but some cybersecurity experts have rushed to point to Russia’s intelligence services. Tom Bossert, Donald Trump’s former National Security adviser, has no doubts and has warned of “the magnitude” of these attacks, whose responsibilities would be “the Russians.”

“Hackers hid their fingerprints and got what experts call ‘persistent access’, thatis, the ability to infiltrate and control networks in a way that is difficult to detect or eliminate,” Bossert said in a recent column of The New York Times, a newspaper that in recent days has been publishing another series of computer attacks that the Commerce and Treasury departments would have been victims of.

Since Putin’s government and the Russian Embassy in Washington, they have rejected the accusations, arguing that they “contradict Russia’s foreign policy principles, “as well as “their national interests and their view of inter-state relations.”

“Once again, I can deny these accusations. Once again, I would like to remind you that it was the President, Vladimir Putin, who suggested to the US side to enter into and sign a cooperation agreement in the field of cyber security and information security (…) This initiative received no response from the United States,” Russian Presidency spokesman Dimitri Peskov recalled a few days ago.

The security breach comes as a huge embarrassment to the US government, given that it has been demanding that other nations do not use Chinese Huawei equipment for internet infrastructure due to the possibility of spying, and yet the weakness of their own cyber defenses have been exposed by readily available US-made network-management software.

 

 

 

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