Republican National Committee denies Russian hackers accessed data

The US Republican National Committee has denied that Russian hackers accessed data during a breach of third-party provider last week.

The hackers were part of APT29 or Cozy Bear, secondo Bloomberg, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter. The group is linked with Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, and was previously accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016, as well as carrying out the historic cybersecurity breach against SolarWinds, which affected about 100 US companies and nine federal agencies.

The RNC has said an investigation by Microsoft found that no RNC data had been accessed as a result of a hack of Synnex Corp, the third-party provider.

The RNC chief of staff, Richard Walters, told the New York Times: “Over the weekend, we were informed that Synnex, a third party provider, had been breached. We immediately blocked all access from Synnex accounts to our cloud environment.

“Our team worked with Microsoft to conduct a review of our systems and after a thorough investigation, no RNC data was accessed. We will continue to work with Microsoft, as well as federal law enforcement officials on this matter.”

The hack comes as the Biden administration scrambles to address the continuing fallout from a vast ransomware attack over the holiday weekend, centered on the software company Kaseya, that affected between 800 e 1,500 businesses.

That attack, which also originated from Russia, is being called the largest ransomware operation in history. The Russian hacker collective REvil has claimed responsibility for the Kaseya attack and demanded $70m to restore all the affected businesses’ data. That group was also behind a crippling ransomware attack on JBS, the world’s biggest meat producer, in June.

Joe Biden told Vladimir Putin in a meeting shortly after the JBS hack that the US would take aggressive action if Russia continued to target American infrastructure. He gave Putin a list of 16 areas – mostly in critical infrastructure – that were “off limits” for cyber-attacks.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, condemned the attack on Kaseya, referencing the earlier meeting with Putin. She added that the Biden administration would convene an interagency group on Wednesday to discuss the major rise in ransomware attacks.

“As the president made clear to President Putin when they met, if the Russian government cannot or will not take action against criminal actors in Russia, we will take action or reserve the right," lei disse.

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