WASHINGTON—Russia is likely behind a massive, continuing hack discovered last month that has ripped through various federal government agencies and an unknown number of private organizations, the Trump administration formally said Tuesday.
In a joint statement, four agencies in charge of intelligence and cybersecurity said that the administration has so far identified fewer than 10 federal agencies whose internal computer systems were infiltrated in the hack. While the statement didn’t identify any of the agencies, those affected include the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Energy, according to officials and others familiar with the investigation.
An advanced, government hacking group “likely Russian in origin is responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks,” said the statement, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The statement was the first from the administration to link what is called the
hack to Russia since the attack was first discovered nearly a month ago. Senior officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have previously said in media interviews that Russia is believed to be responsible. Moscow has denied involvement.
President Trump has largely avoided speaking publicly about the attack, though on Twitter last month he said that China might be responsible. Officials have said there is no evidence linking the breaches to Beijing.
Current and former officials and cybersecurity experts have said the hack amounts to one of the worst intelligence failures on record, and the efforts to respond and root out the intruders have produced jostling and finger-pointing among the government agencies.