President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the perpetrators of a massive cyber attack on the US government unofficially blamed on Russia must face consequences and attacked President Donald Trump for his response to the threat.
“We cannot leave this unanswered,” Biden said in the pre-holiday remarks to the American people.
“That means making it clear and public who is responsible for the attack and taking meaningful steps to hold them accountable.”
Biden, who received intelligence on key national security issues while the president was waiting, says much is unknown about the extent of the damage caused by the attack.
Last week, the US cybersecurity agency said a well-coordinated, highly technical operation penetrated the US government and corporate systems months ago by hacking widespread security software.
“I see no evidence that it is under control,” Biden said, responding to Trump’s claim to the contrary.
“This president hasn’t even identified who is responsible,” he noted.
He warned that he would return the favor once he became president on January 20th.
“When I know the extent of the damage and actually know who is officially responsible, you can be sure that we will respond, and probably in kind,” he said.
“There are many options that I will not discuss now.”
– Devastating Injury –
According to US officials, the most devastating breach of US computer security in years has hit at least the State, Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Homeland Security and National Institutes of Health.
Analysts believe that other departments, including potentially key intelligence agencies, may have been victims of the hack and that assessing the damage could take months or more.
Biden described the attack as a “serious risk to our national security” and criticized Trump for failing to emphasize cybersecurity during his almost four-year term in office.
The attack was “carefully planned and carefully orchestrated. It was carried out with sophisticated cyber tools.”
“The attackers managed to catch the federal government unprepared and unprepared.”
He accused Trump of quitting his job protecting the country and “irrationally downplaying the gravity of this attack.”
“It is still his responsibility as president to defend American interests for the next four weeks,” he said.
“That attack occurred on Donald Trump’s watch when he was not watching,” Biden said. “Rest assured that if he doesn’t take it seriously, I’ll do it too.”
The government has not yet officially attributed the attacks to any country or person, although senior officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Bill Barr, as well as senior members of Congress who were briefed on the issue, have fingered Russia.
However, last week Trump accused the media of always hyping the threat from Russia.
“The cyber hack is far bigger in the fake news media than it is in reality,” tweeted Trump.
“I have been kept fully informed and everything is well under control,” he wrote.
“Russia, Russia, Russia is the number one song when something happens,” he said, then suggested that China could be the culprit.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)