Treasury suffered 'serious breach' in SolarWinds hack, senator says

Hackers breached systems in a Treasury Department division that is “home to the department’s highest-ranking officials,” a top senator said Monday, the newest disclosure in the massive cyberattack on the federal government.

Citing Treasury staff, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said in a statement that the agency suffered a “serious breach, beginning in July, the full depth of which isn’t known.”

Wyden and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Treasury and IRS officials last week for a briefing on the cyberattack targeting SolarWinds, a company that makes IT products that are widely used by the federal government and U.S. corporations. Treasury was one of the departments targeted in the attack, which may have involved other vectors besides SolarWinds.

“Treasury still does not know all of the actions taken by hackers, or precisely what information was stolen,” Wyden said.

Details of the Treasury breach were the latest revelation about the historic cyber attack, which appears to have impacted several federal agencies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Russia for the attack on Friday but was contradicted by President Donald Trump about the source of the intrusion. Attorney General William Barr sided with Pompeo on Monday.

In his Monday night statement, Wyden said that Microsoft notified Treasury that dozens of email accounts were compromised. The hackers, Wyden said, “broke into systems in the Departmental Offices division of Treasury, home to the department’s highest-ranking officials.”

The IRS told committee staff there “is no evidence that IRS was compromised or taxpayer data was affected,” Wyden added.

A Treasury spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


About the author


Leave a Comment