Cyber hack on U.S. Treasury by foreign government

Annette Riedl | Picture Alliance | Getty ImagesWASHINGTON – The Trump administration acknowledged reports on Sunday that a group backed by a foreign government carried out a cyberattack on the U.S. Treasury Department and a section of the U.S. Department of Commerce.”The United States government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation,” National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot wrote in an emailed statement to CNBC.The hack was first reported by Reuters.The hackers are suspected of targeting the Treasury Department as well as the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, a U.S. agency that is tasked with crafting internet and telecommunications policy, Reuters reported.The elaborate cyber hack that was launched on NTIA involved the organization’s Microsoft Office 365 platform, according to Reuters.Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.The latest revelation comes less than a month after President Donald Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the nation’s top cybersecurity official.Krebs, who oversaw the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was responsible for leading the effort to protect U.S. elections.U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs speaks to reporters at CISA’s Election Day Operation Center on Super Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., March 3, 2020.Kevin Lamarque | ReutersIn a pair of tweets last month, Trump said that Krebs gave a “highly inaccurate” statement about the security of the 2020 presidential election.Trump, who has not yet conceded to President-elect Joe Biden, made unfounded claims that the election was riddled with “massive improprieties and fraud.” Twitter labeled the president’s tweets with a warning citing the claim about election fraud is disputed.The courts have repeatedly dismissed suits the Trump campaign and its allies have brought over the 2020 election.

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