WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles), sent a letter to Department of Justice National Security Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko requesting a classified briefing regarding the SolarWinds cyberattack. The Department of Justice revealed this week that 80% of Microsoft email accounts used by employees in four U.S. attorney offices were breached, and at least one employee’s email account was compromised in 27 offices. Rep. Lieu’s letter also asks why the Department has a China Initiative, but not a comparable one for Russia.
In the letter, the Mr. Lieu writes:
Dear Mr. Lesko:
As a Member of Congress with a computer science degree serving on the Judiciary Committee, I write with great concern over the Department of Justice’s recent statement that United States Attorneys’ offices across the country were victims of the SolarWinds intrusion between May 7 and December 27, 2020. The Department of Justice revealed this week that 80% of Microsoft email accounts used by employees in four U.S. attorney offices were breached, and at least one employee’s email account was compromised in 27 offices. I request a classified briefing on what the Department knows about the threat actors responsible for the incident, how the breach occurred despite the Department’s cybersecurity defenses, and what information may have been exfiltrated.
As you know, the Department of Justice investigates geopolitically sensitive matters, including terrorism, the activity of foreign agents, and complex international criminal organizations. If hackers stole sensitive information about ongoing investigations, not only could bad actors evade justice, but U.S national security could be comprised as well. To help prevent incidents like these, I introduced the Improving Contractor Cybersecurity Act, which requires all federal IT and software contractors to maintain vulnerability disclosure programs and make their policies available to the public.
In addition to a classified briefing on the incident itself, I would like to know why the Department does not have a Russia Initiative, as it does for China.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
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