Trump Administration, Biden Voice New Alarm About Latest Cyberattack
December 18, 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and President-elect Joe Biden both
voiced new alarm Thursday about a wide intrusion into computer systems around
the world that officials suspect was carried out by Russia.
The cybersecurity unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the hack
"poses a grave risk to the federal government and state, local, tribal, and
territorial governments, as well as critical infrastructure entities and other
private sector organizations."
The assessment by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency was the most
pointed yet since news of the intrusion first emerged last weekend. Both the
U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments were among the agencies whose secure data
and emails were penetrated by the hack.
The cybersecurity unit warned that removing the malware inserted in the network
software will be “highly complex and challenging.”
Biden, set to become the 46th U.S. president after his January 20 inauguration,
said, “There’s a lot we don’t yet know, but what we do know is a matter of great
Biden said he had “instructed my team to learn as much as we can about this
breach” and praised career government civil servants “who are working
around-the-clock to respond to this attack.”
vowed that after he assumes power, “my administration will make cybersecurity a
top priority at every level of government, and we will make dealing with this
breach a top priority from the moment we take office.”
Biden said he would strengthen the government’s cybersecurity partnerships with
the private sector.
“But a good defense isn’t enough,” he said. “We need to disrupt and deter our
adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place.”
“We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those
responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our
allies and partners,” Biden said. “Our adversaries should know that, as
president, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our