U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Friday night that he believes Russia is behind a hack that compromised dozens of federal agencies, including sensitive cybersecurity information.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Mark Levin Show”, Pompeo said it was “pretty clear” the origin of the attack came from the Russians.
“I can’t say much more as we’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified,” Pompeo said. “This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”
Pompeo did not say if President Donald Trump would comment during the investigation.
U.S. cybersecurity company FireEye first reported the hack earlier this month as CEO Kevin Mandia said it was “an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.” He went on to say the goal of the hack was to steal information from the company’s government clients.
The hackers first broke into an Austin-based company called SolarWinds, which provides remote information technology services to clients around the world. Reports say the cyberattack began as early as March and many of the targets were government agencies and companies that contract with governments.
President Trump has not commented on the matter as the U.S. sees a spike in coronavirus cases across the country and Congress working to reach a stimulus deal.
Members of the Homeland Security and Oversight Committee released a statement late Friday, saying they had been briefed on the incident.
“After receiving a classified member briefing from the Trump Administration today on the major hack to government systems, we are left with more questions than answers,” the statement read. “Even in the midst of an unprecedented cyberattack with far-reaching implications for our national security, Administration officials were unwilling to share the full scope of the breach and identities of the victims.”