Russian government hackers breached the Treasury and Commerce departments, along with other U.S. government agencies, as part of a global espionage campaign that stretches back months, according to people familiar with the matter.
Officials were scrambling over the weekend to assess the nature and extent of the intrusions and implement effective countermeasures, but initial signs suggested the breach was long-running and significant, the people familiar with the matter said.
The Russian hackers, known by the nicknames APT29 or Cozy Bear, are part of that nation’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, and they breached email systems in some cases, said the people familiar with the intrusions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The same Russian group hacked the State Department and the White House email servers during the Obama administration.
WASHINGTON—Multiple federal government agencies, including the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, have had some of their computer systems breached as part of a widespread global cyber espionage campaign believed to be the work of the Russian government, according to officials and people familiar with the matter.
Russia’s foreign-intelligence service is suspected of being behind the hacks of the U.S. government networks—in which some internal communications are believed to have been stolen—and the operation is related to a cyber breach disclosed last week of U.S.-based cybersecurity firm FireEye, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned that the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyber-espionage campaign discovered when a prominent cybersecurity firm learned it had been breached.
In a rare emergency directive issued late Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity arm warned of an “unacceptable risk” to the executive branch from a feared large-scale penetration of U.S. government agencies that could date back to mid-year or earlier.
“This can turn into one of the most impactful espionage campaigns on record,” said cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch.