While the United States is undergoing the worst computer attack in their history, Donald Trump remains obsessed with the supposed cheating of Democrats during the last presidential election. Worse, instead of wondering if the attack came from the Russians or other countries, he persists in denouncing the “Russian hoax” of the Democrats. Yet the United States is under attack.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, this attack damaged vital infrastructure and compromised the security of government agencies as well as private companies. The attack would represent “a serious threat”. Several other countries were attacked, including Canada. The president of Microsoft does not hesitate to speak of an act of war.
1. What do we know about the attack?
The attack is said to have started in March, possibly earlier. It may not be finished yet. It was done through a Texas company, SolarWinds Orion. The company offers IT management, data storage and remote activity control products. Its clients include several governments which are allies of the United States. At least 80,000 users of SolarsWinds Orion products have reportedly been infiltrated by hackers. Hackers entered the computers of the departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy … and even those of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, which is however responsible for protecting states -United against computer threats!
2. What did the hackers steal?
No one knows exactly what the hackers stole. Investigations are underway. Experts believe the hackers have been spying on the US government and major private companies in real time for months. As the Energy Agency manages America’s nuclear missiles, some are concerned about the integrity of the nuclear defense system. The Department of Energy assures us that this system has not been affected. But given the scale of the attack, it will take some very convincing arguments.
3. Who is behind this attack?
US officials blame the Russians. But, even if Russia is a plausible culprit, other countries, like China or North Korea, could also have carried out this attack. Of course, the Russian government denies being responsible for it.
4. How are American elected officials reacting?
Trump has so far not commented on the attack. His silence becomes embarrassing for Republicans. The White House would still have held internal meetings on this subject. Trump’s silence is likely the result of the very negative view such an affair casts on Russia. Trump is still trying to make it look like accusing Russia of election hacking is a hoax. For his part, Joe Biden denounced the attack by promising retaliation against the country behind the attack.
5. What impact will this attack have on American politics?
The better understood this attack, the more American public opinion will worry about it and the more difficult it will be for Trump to avoid the subject. His denial will be seen as weakness. But Trump, in his tweets, is showing himself increasingly out of touch with reality. This piracy case could have consequences for the election of the two senators in Georgia in January. Trump, in his sickly obsession, now threatens the Republican Party with destruction if more elected Republican officials recognize Biden’s victory. As the United States comes under attack, Trump is only concerned about his post. Many voters might not forgive him.