President Joe Biden’s response to the Russia-led hack of U.S. government agencies and hundreds of companies will be coming in “weeks, not months,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday.
The U.S. has accused Russia of accessing government agencies through compromised software from SolarWinds. The hack reportedly went undetected for months in the final year of former President Donald Trump’s time in office. The Biden administration is conducting a review on the extent of the hack and has floated sanctions against Russia as a potential response.
“We have asked the intelligence community to do further work to sharpen the attribution that the previous administration made about precisely how the hack occurred, what the extent of the damage is and what the scope and scale of the intrusion is,” Psaki said. “But it will be weeks not months before we respond.”
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki says it will be “weeks, not months” before the U.S. responds to Russia’s SolarWinds hack.pic.twitter.com/twweeVFxIL
— The Recount (@therecount) February 23, 2021
The response is expected to encompass both the hack against the U.S. and Russia’s poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top political rival. (RELATED: REPORT: Ally Of Jailed Putin Critic Flawlessly Plays Beethoven On Piano Amid Arrest By Russian Police)
The hackers reportedly had access to U.S. systems since March, making it difficult to discover what may have been taken or prevent further access. Microsoft stated publicly in late December that it had identified more than 40 organizations, including itself, that have been affected by the hack. The final number released by the Biden White House said nine federal agencies and more than 100 companies were affected.