US Government Agencies Hit In Global Cyberattack

Eric Goldstein, the Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, stated that US government agencies were hit in a global cyberattack.

Several US federal government agencies have been hit in a global cyberattack by Russian cybercriminals that exploits a vulnerability in widely used software, according to a top US cybersecurity agency.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency “is providing support to several federal agencies that have experienced intrusions affecting their MOVEit applications,” Eric Goldstein, the agency’s executive assistant director for cybersecurity, said in a statement on Thursday to CNN, referring to the software impacted. “We are working urgently to understand impacts and ensure timely remediation.”

Aside from US government agencies, “several hundred” companies and organizations in the US could be affected by the hacking spree, a senior CISA official told reporters later Thursday, citing estimates from private experts.

Clop, the ransomware gang allegedly responsible, is known to demand multimillion-dollar ransoms. But no ransom demands have been made of federal agencies, the senior official told reporters in a background briefing.

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CISA’s response comes as Progress Software, the US firm that makes the software exploited by the hackers, said it had discovered a second vulnerability in the code that the company was working to fix.

The Department of Energy is among multiple federal agencies breached in the ongoing global hacking campaign, a department spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

The hacks have not had any “significant impacts” on federal civilian agencies, CISA Director Jen Easterly told reporters, adding that the hackers have been “largely opportunistic” in using the software flaw to break into networks.

The news adds to a growing tally of victims of a sprawling hacking campaign that began two weeks ago and has hit major US universities and state governments. The hacking spree mounts pressure on federal officials who have pledged to put a dent in the scourge of ransomware attacks that have hobbled schools, hospitals and local governments across the US.

Since late last month, the hackers have been exploiting a flaw in widely used software known as MOVEit that companies and agencies use to transfer data. Progress Software, the US firm that makes the software, told CNN Thursday that a new vulnerability in the software had been discovered “that could be exploited by a bad actor.”

Microsoft was the first to identify a Chinese hacking group named Volt Typhoon, which targeted the US Navy. This finding has been subsequently confirmed by authorities in the US, UK, and other allied nations.

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