Energy Department Agency Breached

( Government officials announced the disturbing news on Thursday that agencies inside of the Department of Energy, including parts of the agency that maintains the nation’s nuclear weapons, were hacked as part of a massive system breach.

According to Energy Department spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes, the business networks used to run the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) were hacked as part of the SolarWinds breach. It’s just one more example of how a breach by Russian hackers has been giving the nation inside information about the U.S. government’s inner working for what could be years.

Hynes confirmed that the department was responding to the hack in coordination with industry experts and the federal government.

“The investigation is ongoing and the response to this incident is happening in real time,” Hynes said.

“At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only, and has not impacted the mission essential national security functions of the Department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Hynes also said in the statement.

It means that while the business network side of the agency’s operations was breached, and information may have been obtained by foreign hackers, the actual operations and controls of the nation’s nuclear weapon stockpile were not impacted by the breach.

…well that’s a relief.

“When DOE identified vulnerable software, immediate action as taken to mitigate the risk, and all software identified as being vulnerable to this attack was disconnected from the DOE network.”

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that a Russian military hacking group, commonly known as “Cozy Bear,” was behind the attack that infiltrated the SolarWinds business software.

Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican from Nebraska and the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces that also oversees the NNSA, said that the hack was troubling and she had requested a briefing from the Energy Department. She did confirm, however, that she was confident in the “safety and security” of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

“Our nuclear deterrent is the bedrock of our national security,” she said. “The NNSA’S infrastructure and computer systems play a vital role and must be protected. This report reinforces the need to modernize our nuclear enterprise in order to ensure it remains safe, secure, and effective in the face of evolving threats.”

The nuclear weapons are safe…for now. How long might it be before foreign hackers obtain access to controls of weapons or stockpiles?

Joe Biden, deemed the “President-elect” by the media, tried to play off the issue as a problem with the Trump administration, saying his administration “will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government.”

But the hack goes back to the Obama-Biden administration. Oops.