The largest data breach in the United States since 2014 took place this week, the Washington Post reported Sunday, when it was revealed the Russians hacked the U.S. government.
Speaking on the topic, NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian explained that it had been confirmed that it was the Russian version of the CIA that hacked into the Treasury Department and Commerce Department. Thus far, he said, sources told him that no classified information was stolen because those are in different servers. Still, however, they aren't able to confirm exactly what was taken from the servers as of yet.
"This is the kind of thing when the Russians are able to penetrate very secure networks like this. It's not just the government," said Dilanian. "It's private entities that use the same software that are vulnerable. Look, the United States does this too. We are, as we speak, NSA hackers are trying to break into Russian and Chinese networks. It's fair game, but it's still a big deal when the Russian state government breaks into the Treasury Department and the Commerce Department and major U.S. corporations."
When it comes to President Donald Trump retaliating against Russia, it's unclear if there would be any retaliation as Trump has been known to protect Russia above all else. During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Trump was asked if he talked to Putin about the 2016 hacks and garnered any details about his efforts to sow division in the U.S. ahead of the election.
“I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be," Trump replied to reporters' questions. His staff had to recant the statement saying the president meant the opposite.
Dilanian said that there's not an easy answer to understand how Trump will respond to the act, "because this is not considered an act of war. It's an act of espionage."
He explained that when China hacked personnel records of government employees, the former CIA director called it a great intelligence feat because the United States would do the same thing to Russia "tenfold."
"They want to penetrate Russian networks," he said. "They want to get all the information they can to protect U.S. national security. Now, the difference between Russia and China in this regard is that U.S. officials say China steals corporate secrets to make money. In the case of Russia, they are more hacking for national security purposes, to get information that they can use as, you know, to their advantage. But this is beyond just a game here. I mean, there's intelligence showing that U.S. officials believe the Russians are using microwave weapons to attack diplomats and spies and that the Russians may have paid bounties to kill our troops in Afghanistan. So, there's a really serious espionage war going on between Russia and the United States, and this is just one part of it."
See the full report below: