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Senior Treasury Department leaders targeted by hacking

But on Monday, there was no public statement attributing the hacking to Russia, perhaps reflecting Mr. Trump’s reluctance to confront Moscow on the issue and the doubts he expressed about the seriousness of the hack. attack.

The meeting, according to a senior administration official, was intended to “take stock of the intelligence, investigation and measures taken to remedy” the attack. There was no preparation to impose a cost on the attacker. Mr. Trump did not attend the meeting.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his new chief of staff Ron Klain have said in recent days that the response once Mr Biden is in office will go beyond sanctions to disable the attacker’s abilities. . But he will likely find the government’s response options limited due to fear of escalation.

The list of participants in the meeting was remarkable because it provided an indication of which parts of government might have been affected. White House officials said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F. Wolf and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette were in attendance. All of these agencies have been previously identified by news agencies as targets of hacking.

John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, attended the meeting; as are Gina Haspel, Director of the CIA, and General Paul M. Nakasone, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of the United States Cyber ​​Command. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the first senior administration official to recognize that Russia was the most likely source of the attack before it was undermined by Mr. Trump, has not attended. His deputy, Stephen E. Biegun, replaced him.

General Nakasone, a seasoned cyber warrior responsible for defending national security systems, has been silent since the hack came to light. At the NSA and Cyber ​​Command, officials said, there was an extraordinary shame that a private company, FireEye, was the first to alert the government that it had been hacked.

According to details released by Mr Wyden, after Russian hackers used the SolarWinds software update to break into Treasury systems, they performed a complex step in Microsoft’s Office 365 system to create a “token. »Encrypted that identifies a computer on the larger network.

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