U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments’ email traffic reportedly hacked: ‘May be the tip of the iceberg’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to an undisclosed source, Reuters alleged that the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments’ email traffic was compromised by possible Russian hackers

From what Reuters has reported on the matter, their sources who are “familiar with the matter” have fears that “the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg.”

From what is alleged regarding the hack, the breach resulted in a National Security Council meeting at the White House on December 12th. 

As for confirmation coming from officials on the matter, the Commerce Department has only revealed that one of it’s agencies was breached in some form.   They did not provide specific detail beyond that: 

“We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus. We have asked CISA and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this time.”

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot also conveyed that officials “are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation.”

As for the Treasury Department, no comment confirming or denying any breach of their email systems has come forward as of this time. Nor has any government official come forward to name who they believe to be behind the breach. 

Reuters claims that “two people” familiar with the matter say that “the breaches are connected to a broader campaign” by Russia. This latest breach comes days after FireEye was reportedly compromised by “foreign government hackers.”

There’s suspicion that these two hacks, FireEye and the Treasury and Commerce departments, were accomplished via the same means. 

The suspected conduit for these recent hacks are believed to be the same that compromised FireEye.  A small piece of malware attached to a SolarWinds update was found upon investigating.

When FireEye performed an audit to understand their own breach, they announced that “malicious code” had been embedded “into legitimate software updates for the Orion software that allow an attacker remote access into the victim’s environment.”

What has some believing that the SolarWinds malware was what afforded access to email communications within the Treasury and Commerce departments, is that SolarWinds has a customer base that includes all five branches of the U.S. military, the Pentagon, the State Department, NASA, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice and the White House.

Essentially, the software that FireEye believes left them vulnerable is present within just about every desirable facet a foreign adversary would love to gain access to. 

In response to the allegations that Russia played a hand in any of these breaches, Russia’s U.S. embassy claimed that these media allegations were “unfounded.”  It was said that “malicious activities in the information space contradicts the principles of the Russian foreign policy.”

SolarWinds CEO, Kevin Thompson, released a statement after FireEye pointed to the SolarWinds update as being the source of their respective hack: 

“We believe that this vulnerability is the result of a highly-sophisticated, targeted and manual supply chain attack by a nation state.”

Jake Williams, a former NSA hacker and current president of the cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec, suspects we’ll be hearing of more breaches down the line: 

“I suspect that there are a number of other agencies we’re going to hear from this week that have also been hit.”

This is a developing matter. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather updates on this investigation. 

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Speaking of breaches, we at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on Senator Ted Cruz’s take on a recently revealed relationship between a suspected Chinese spy and a Democratic congressman. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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TEXAS – We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on the unveiled controversy revolving around Rep. Eric Swalwell was reportedly involved with a suspected Chinese spy some years back. 

While the controversy surrounding that matter is a story all on it’s own, Senator Ted Cruz seemingly couldn’t help himself from making a bit of a pun regarding the debacle. 

And by pun, Senator Cruz decided to speculate on the nature of the Communist Chinese spy and Swalwell’s intermingling: 

“More than once, I’ve said “screw the Chinese communists.” Little did I know how closely Swalwell was listening.”

Now, in the interest of reporting verifiable facts, it is unclear whether Swalwell was involved romantically with the alleged espionage operative known as Christine Fang.

But, what can be said is that Swalwell’s own camp admitted that he and Fang knew each other since around 2012 – before he ever held public office. Fang even helped raise funds for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection efforts. 

And Fang even had helped place one intern into Swalwell’s office and mingled with the Representative up until around 2015. 

Plus, pictures of Fang show that she wasn’t exactly unattractive by conventional standards – in fact, most would likely agree that she’d rather easy on the eyes. 

And Swalwell didn’t get married to his current wife until 2016, after the FBI informed him of their concerns over Fang. 

 From there, one would have to speculate on what an attractive young woman – with an alleged agenda for the CCP to gather intel – and a young man might do when harboring said entanglements. 

But with Cruz’s joking speculation came some criticism, which is not all that surprising. 

One commenter responded to Cruz’s post, writing: 

“You sound more and more like Trump every day. To think I used to be so naïve as to believe you were one of the classier ones. You were right when you said he was evil, and now you’re acting just like him, maybe even worse.”

To which a particular writer from LET responded with: 

“Jokes aside, Swalwell managed to be entangled with Fang before he got into office, let her raise funds for him in 2014 and took in a staffer she suggested – all before he got married in 2016. I’m pretty dang sure he was tapping it as well, let’s be adults and cognizant here.”

As for Swalwell, he recently hinted at The White House possibly airing out his proverbial dirty laundry from years back.

The reason being is that he noted he’s been a vocal critic of President Trump when responding to the criticism over the essentially hushed debacle: 

“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at.”

But the timeline is a little skewed, as Swalwell has been critical of Trump far before the failed impeachment. In fact, he even appeared on MSNBC nearly two years ago accusing of President Trump’s son meeting with a “Russian spy”. 

One cannot but help notice the irony in those accusation, as Swalwell knew at the time of that interview that he’d courted in some fashion or another a literal Chinese spy for years

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