EDITOR NOTE: It goes without saying that the recent US government cyber attack poses a severe risk to national security. Although President Trump suggests, for reasons we still don’t fully understand, that it “might” be China, almost everyone in government who had a hand in investigating the matter points fingers at Russia. Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, GOP Sen, Mitt Romney warns that the last hack might have been something of a dry run. Romney is worried what might be next. Can they target our food and water supply; how might they use cyberwarfare to cripple us economically? Apparently, our networks are an open door--much wider than the government had thought. What Russia did was an act of cyberwarfare. It warrants a strong response. Yet, as far as we know, Russia was able to act with impunity.
Russia acted with impunity when it hacked U.S. government servers in a global cyberespionage campaign and could do far more damage next time — like cutting off the nation’s water and electricity supply, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Utah senator said the massive cyberattack discovered last week, which officials say could be the biggest hack on the American government ever, must be met with a vigorous response and without delay.
“I don’t know if we have the capacity to do that in a way that would be of the same scale or even greater scale than what Russia has applied to us, but this is something we have to address as soon as possible,” said Romney.
“They potentially have the capacity to cripple us economically, they went to our businesses. They have the potential to also cripple us with regards to our water and electricity and so forth.”
Romney added: “They don’t need rockets to take those things out.”
Among the federal agencies hacked in the massive cyberattack are the Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Treasury and Commerce departments. Hackers targeted state and local governments, too, as well as several Fortune 500 companies.
After investigators discovered the Treasury and Commerce departments had been hacked in the sweeping intrusion undertaken by a hostile foreign government, authorities ordered agencies to scan networks for potentially compromised servers and malware.
The breach came in the form of an update for network-monitoring software by a company called SolarWinds, which was infected with Russian malware. When users downloaded the update, it let hackers bypass a security hole.
Officials say the breach could potentially endanger American security for years to come.
While President Trump surmised the attack might have come from China, security officials in his administration pointed directly to Russia.
“We can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians who were responsible,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
Saying the outgoing president has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia, Romney said those in the know are not operating under any uncertainties.
“And the reality here is that the experts, the people who really understand how our systems work and how computers work and software and so forth, the thousands upon thousands at the CIA and the [National Security Agency] and the Department of Defense, have determined that this came from Russia,” Romney said.
Originally posted on NY Daily News