A former FBI deputy has alleged that President Trump has been diverting money from cybersecurity resources to build a wall at a time when the “nation is under attack”.
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday about a report published in Politico that revealed that hackers accessed systems at the National Nuclear Security Administration, Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI deputy director for counterintelligence, said that the reason such attacks are occurring is that the budget for cybersecurity under the Trump administration had been squeezed in order to prioritise other things.
“Meaning this product that comes from SolarWinds is a network management product used by too many, quite frankly, of all government agencies and too many of our top telecommunications companies. Ten of which were compromised as far as we know — so far. So, it is a larger issue, Nicolle, of supply chain management.”
“This is the defence of our nation and systems and failure to oversee our supply chain in a form of allowing one company to service so many of our government agencies,” he said.
“The Russians found that weakness and exploited it and we’re still learning the extent of the damage and Natasha reported that hour now our nuclear components have been impacted and one of the words that jumped out there the reporting is damaged.”
On Thursday, Politico reported that the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the US nuclear weapons stockpile, found out that hackers accessed their networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies.
Mr Figliuzzi explaining why he thinks the cybersecurity resources lack sufficient funds said: “We have a president diverting money, billions of it, to build a wall, changing personnel at the top of the Pentagon and we’ve not heard word one about the plan or strategy to respond to this ongoing attack.”
He says such attacks are happening more often because “there is no one in charge from the Oval Office down throughout the intelligence community.”
He also warned that troubles are waiting for the president-elect who will have to take cyberattacks more seriously. “This is Warfare and Battlefield, and it means that Joe Biden on day one is going to be fighting another kind of virus the Cyber kind.”