Friday, December 18, 2020

Congressional Democrats Liken Solarwinds Epic Fail To A RUSSIAN INVASION!

 c4isrnet |  The Senate’s No. 2 Democrat said Russia’s apparent hack into multiple government agencies is a “virtual invasion” that demands the U.S. show Russia and other adversaries there is “a price to pay” for breaching American systems.

In a Senate floor speech Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the U.S. needs to “respond in kind” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not a friend. A day earlier on CNN, he called the hack “virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States, and we should take it that seriously.”

“No, I’m not calling for an invasion myself or all-out war. I don’t want to see that happen, but it’s no longer a buddy-buddy arrangement between the United States and Vladimir Putin,” Durbin said Thursday. “When adversaries such as Russia torment us, tempt us, breach the security of our nation, we need to respond in kind.”

Durbin’s remarks came hours before President-elect Joe Biden issued an announcement that he had instructed his team to learn as much as possible about the breach. He vowed a tough response, beyond expanding investment in cyber defense.

“But a good defense isn’t enough; we need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyber attacks in the first place,” Biden said in a statement. “We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners. Our adversaries should know that, as President, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation.”

This week brought the disclosure of a global cyberespionage campaign that penetrated multiple U.S. government agencies by compromising a common network management tool from the company SolarWinds used by thousands of organizations. Russia, the prime suspect, denied involvement.

Cybersecurity investigators said the hack’s impact extends far beyond the affected U.S. agencies, which include the Treasury and Commerce departments. Defense contractors like General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls Industries were on SolarWinds’ client list, but those two firms have declined to comment.

SolarWinds counts all five military services, the Pentagon and the National Security Agency among its clientele, and the New York Times reported that the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and parts of the Pentagon were compromised.

Congressional Democrats have generally been more vocal about the hack than Republicans, pointing fingers at President Donald Trump, who fired Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency chief Christopher Krebs in November. As Washington continued to assess the extent of the hack, Democrats criticized Trump’s silence on the matter.

“We need to gather more facts. But early indications suggest Pres Trump’s tepid response to previous cyber transgressions by Russian hackers emboldened those responsible,” Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed said in a tweet Wednesday. He is the Senate Armed Services Committee’s top Democrat and sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.