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U.S. officials blame Russia for hack attack

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/21/20, 04:28 pm

After President Donald Trump suggested over the weekend that China might have pulled off the recent cyberattack on U.S. agencies, outgoing U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday doubled down on what other cybersecurity officials are saying: “It certainly appears to be the Russians.” Barr echoed a similar statement U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made on Friday.

How did the hackers do it? Rather than hacking government agencies or companies directly, they went after a third-party vendor named SolarWinds that supplies IT management software to 18,000 customers in the public and private sectors. Malicious programming opened a sort of back door to hackers on the networks where the software was installed. The full extent of the breach is unknown, but it includes companies and agencies all over the world.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Onize Ohikere’s report in The Sift about the time Russian hackers tried to hack U.S. senators’ emails.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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