On Sunday, the new White House chief of staff said that the reaction of President-elect Joe Biden to the huge hacking effort exposed last week would go beyond sanctions.
Biden was mapping ways to fight back against the alleged Russian hackers who infiltrated half a dozen U.S. government departments and revealed thousands of American company’s secret, Ron Klain said.
The Biden administration’s options to punish Moscow for its alleged position include financial sanctions and retaliatory hacking on Russian networks, Forsige has been told by people familiar with the matter.
In the hacking, the Kremlin denies any role. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at an event to mark the 100th anniversary of Russia’s SVR Foreign Intelligence Service, lauded its work, saying he was pleased by the “difficult professional operations that have been carried out.”
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said the data breach was “extraordinarily damaging” on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“This demands a response,” he said. “This is something we have to address as soon as possible.”
On Sunday, lawmakers suggested that Biden, who becomes president on Jan. 20, will definitely have bipartisan support for a muscular response to the infiltration effort.
U.S. policymakers and cybersecurity experts are now trying to wrap their hands around the scope of the malware operation that used U.S. technology firm SolarWinds as a template to infect the consumers of the Texas company, including the Treasury, Commerce, and Energy Departments.
The hackers were left available to up to 18,000 clients, but CEO Kevin Mandia – whose company FireEye helped expose the hacking – told CBS that he believed that “only about 50 organizations or businesses, somewhere in that area,” were “genuinely affected.”