The first damage assessment of a sprawling cyber attack believed to be linked to Russia has been chilling enough.
With intrusions reported across a huge swath of the government – including at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration – federal officials already are signaling that the worst may be yet to come.
The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber security unit has acknowledged that the full scope of the attack is not yet known, with an untold number of local government and private sector systems at “grave risk.”
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Although federal authorities have so far traced the attack’s launch back to March, it remains unclear just how long operatives have been lurking in some of the government’s most critical agencies – including the departments of State, Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce –and what may have been lost or compromised.
Because the attacks employed sophisticated tactics unseen in past intrusions, according to Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), eliminating the threat is expected to be even more difficult.
Where is the White House?
Most striking, perhaps, has been the White House’s silence as other parts of the government have been ringing the alarm about the cascading threat and the uncertain risk, raising questions about how the U.S. should respond.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Friday called President Donald Trump’s lack of response “extraordinary” as the country faces the modern equivalent of “Russian bombers reportedly flying undetected over the entire country.”
“They had the capacity to show that our defense is extraordinarily inadequate; that our cyber warfare readiness is extraordinarily weak,” Romney said in an interview with Sirius XM, adding that the Kremlin acted with “impunity.”
“And in this setting, not to have the White House aggressively speaking out and protesting and taking punitive action is really, really quite extraordinary,” he added.
Michael Chertoff, a former Homeland…