The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to brief senators on the massive SolarWinds hack by suspected Russian hackers and its effect on the State Department.
“It is critical that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee receive a briefing on the extent of the security breach and the efforts that the Department is taking to mitigate its impacts and defend against future attacks,” Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) wrote to Pompeo in a letter Wednesday.
“Furthermore, it is essential that critical sectors within private industry and the American public more broadly understand the nature of the threat that our nation faces from the Kremlin, and their persistent exploitation of cyberspace, the Internet, and social media for their malign ends,” he added.
The State Department is one of several federal agencies breached by a cyberattack into third-party software developer SolarWinds that was revealed last week. Officials have called the hack, which is believed to have originated as far back as March, a “grave” risk to U.S. national security.
The State Department has yet to provide any specifics on the hack, and Menendez criticized Pompeo for his silence on the matter.
“While several other cabinet agencies that are victims of this cybersecurity breach have publicly acknowledged having been attacked, to date the Department of State has been silent on whether its computer, communication and information technology systems were compromised,” Menendez said in Wednesday’s letter.
A State Department spokesperson said the agency is working with the Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG), the administration’s coordinated effort between the FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence.
“We are working with the Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) lead agencies and appropriate partners to determine the full scope and impact of these incidents,” the spokesperson said, and referred all other questions to UCG.
CISA did not immediately return a request for comment about…