The hacker attack was prevented, after which the system began updating. The Russian special services were suspected of involvement in the hacker attack. According to The Washington post, "the Russian special services introduced their digital Trojan horses into the computer systems of the federal government, probably in the spring of this year, but until that time the viruses were inactive, hiding in computers". Then the malicious code worked. He was discovered at the time of transferring classified information to the command-controlled computers of the hackers.
The publication explains that the virus was not noticed for two reasons: partly because of Russian skill in hacker attacks (hackers cleaned up the traces, and also used American IP addresses for the attack), partly because of the "blind spot" in the government system - hackers used new fragments of malicious code that managed to elude the American detection system. “The Russians were good,” the publication concluded.
The Russian Foreign Ministry dismisses the accusations of a hacker attack.
The American authorities are investing significant resources in cybersecurity after a massive attack by the Chinese Human Resources Administration in 2015, when the data of about 20 million civil servants leaked to attackers. “However, the spyware hack discovered now for many months once again shows the shortcomings of this system", - the newspaper notes.
How many more services were hacked is not specified yet. According to the publication, the purpose of the attack on the government system was the ability to gain access to correspondence on US foreign policy. However, the journalists of the publication also do not exclude the search for information on the coronavirus vaccine.
“The hackers could have gained access much earlier, given that the breach was carried out through discovered internal vulnerabilities, as evidenced by the fact that the software was updated. This fact suggests that hackers could well have taken possession of a large amount of classified information”, - writes avia.pro.
SIPRNET is a communications system used by the Department of Defense and the Department of State to transmit classified information.