Annette Riedl | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration confirmed reports on Sunday that a foreign government-backed group had carried out a cyber attack on the U.S. Treasury Department and part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“The United States government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and correct possible problems related to this situation,” said John Ullyot, spokesman for the National Security Council, in an email to Statement sent by CNBC.
The hack was first reported by Reuters.
The hackers are suspected of targeting the Treasury Department and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a US agency tasked with developing Internet and telecommunications policy, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, the complex cyber hack that was launched on NTIA affected the company’s Microsoft Office 365 platform.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The latest revelation comes less than a month after President Donald Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the country’s leading cybersecurity officer.
Krebs, who oversaw the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, was responsible for directing efforts to protect the US elections.
Christopher Krebs, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), speaks to reporters at the CISA polling center on Super Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia, United States, March 3, 2020.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
In two tweets last month, Trump said Krebs had made a “highly inaccurate” statement on the security of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump, who has not yet conceded President-elect Joe Biden, made unsubstantiated claims that the election was fraught with “massive inadequacies and fraud.” Twitter tagged the president’s tweets with a warning that the allegation of election fraud is controversial.
The courts have repeatedly dismissed lawsuits against the Trump campaign, and its allies have pushed ahead with the 2020 election.