The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which oversees the United States’ massive nuclear weapons stockpile, have evidence that hackers breached their networks as part of an far-reaching espionage operation that has impacted at least six federal agencies, officials directly familiar with the matter told Politico in an exclusive report published Thursday afternoon.
DOE and NNSA officials on Thursday started coordinating notifications about the breach to their congressional oversight bodies after being briefed by the chief information officer at the DOE, Rocky Campione, Politico reports.
They found suspicious activity in networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington, the Office of Secure Transportation at NNSA, and the Richland Field Office of the DOE, according to the report.
The hackers have been able to inflict more damage at FERC than the other agencies, and officials there have evidence of highly malicious activity, the officials said, but did not elaborate, the report says.
Furthermore, the officials said that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which has been helping to manage the federal response to the wide-scale hacking campaign, signaled to FERC this week that CISA was overwhelmed and might not be able to allocate the necessary resources to respond. Even though FERC is a semi-autonomous agency, the DOE will therefore be allocating extra resources to FERC to help investigate the hack, the officials told Politico.
Several top officials from CISA, including its former director Christopher Krebs, have either been pushed out by the Trump administration or resigned in recent weeks.
Federal investigators have been combing through networks in recent days to determine what hackers had been able to access and/or steal, and officials at the DOE still don’t know whether the attackers were able to access anything, the people said, noting that the investigation is ongoing and they may not know the full extent of the damage “for weeks.”
DOE officials were planning on Thursday to notify the House and Senate Energy committees, House and Senate Energy and Water Development subcommittees, House and Senate Armed Services committees, and the New Mexico and Washington State delegations of the breach, the officials told Politico.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Judiciary hearing spotlights Biden’s dangerously ‘intentional’ open border policy
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee bashed the Biden administration Wednesday for the growing southwest border crisis, saying the massive increase in illegal migration and drug trafficking is the result of intentional policies put in place by the White House.
I absolutely agree and contend that Biden’s open border policy is a direct threat to the national security of our nation, making the U.S. vulnerable to our enemies and putting the lives of U.S. citizens and migrants at risk.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, began the hearing by addressing the overwhelming numbers of migrants from all over the world that are being trafficked by cartels and associated human smuggling organizations into the United States since Biden took office, as Iv’e previously reported. These migrants pay thousands, and many times tens of thousands of dollars, to make the dangerous and harrowing journey to the U.S. border.
The trek is laden with tragedy. Children are at the mercy of those trafficking them resulting in physical, sexual and mental abuse. Women and men are raped. Many illegal migrants are sold into slavery to pay back the cartels for their journey. Even those that make it into the country without being victimized by the traffickers are many times forced into slavery once they arrive or live in the shadows.
The officials at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. are doing little to mitigate this crisis and in fact, tow the narrative of the Biden White House.
Republican lawmakers criticized embattled DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has publicly stated that the U.S. southern border “is secure” despite all evidence to the contrary. His lies are palpable and lawmakers are calling for his resignation. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, was first to file impeachment articles against Mayorkas and said Tuesday, that “the founders said that you have impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors — that’s constitutional. They didn’t say you have to be convicted of a felony. What they said is you have a public official who has violated public trust and there is nobody who typifies that more in my opinion than Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.”
Still, Mayorkas is refusing to budge. Why should he? He’s doing exactly what the President is demanding of him. As for the American people, a significant portion of our nation is left in the dark because of a feckless politically motivated media that can’t allow the truth to get in the way of its lies.
It has never been this bad. I’ve covered the border for roughly 18 years and the consequences of President Biden’s open border policies will be dire. The number of illegal migrant encounters and more importantly the overwhelming numbers of known got-a-ways that have not been vetted and who have disappeared into the fabric of our nation will, in my opinion, directly impact our national security.
Jordan put the blame for the overwhelming border crisis squarely on the White House. I agree. He stated, “make no mistake the Biden administration is carrying out its plan.” It was a plan that Biden advertised when he became President and one that his minions are carrying out regardless of the warnings being issued by federal employees, like the Border Patrol agents and ICE officers, and local and state law enforcement, who are on the front lines of this daily battle.
Jordan reminded the committee that in Mayorkas’ own words he said, “we are executing our plan on the border.”
He also referenced Biden’s statement at the beginning of his presidency, when he bragged that his administration “would make it easier for people to get here.”
It’s just that simple. There is no need to dissect the White House statements or try to come up with other interpretations of why the U.S. Mexico border, is almost non-existent.
The numbers of people illegally entering our nation since Biden was elected is evidence enough. More than 2.3 million migrants were encountered at the U.S. Mexico border in 2022, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. By the time Biden leaves office more than 5 million will have been encountered by federal agents and that’s a low-ball guess, according to many U.S. officials I’ve spoken with familiar with the crisis. In fact, the real numbers of illegal aliens in the United States are believed to roughly 22 to 25 million people and you can bet based on those already apprehended that some of them are terrorists with the intention of doing harm to our nation.
“These numbers make clear that the Biden administration does not have operational control of the border,” said Jordan.“Month after month after month, we have set records for migrants coming into the country and frankly, I think it’s intentional.”
We know what’s happing with the open border, so the most important question we can ask is, why is the administration pursuing an open border policy? What is the ultimate agenda of this policy? Is it more votes? Is it more globalist pursuits in the Western Hemisphere?
We can only guess but it’s up to our lawmakers, like those on the House Judiciary Committee, to hold the Biden officials accountable in such a way that they are forced to confront the truth before the American public through tough questions under oath before the committees. No dog and pony shows. No excuses or deals.
Our lawmakers need to expose the truth no matter how difficult it is to hear – whether it’s the tragic deaths by our citizens from Fentanyl poisoning while adversaries like China send precursor chemicals to Mexican cartels to kill our youth, the trafficking of children for sex and other nefarious purposes, the increase in deaths of migrants at the border and the very real possibility that people associated with terrorism have entered the United States.
These are only some of the the litany of issues our nation is grappling with under a Biden open border policy.
We need to hold the Biden officials accountable because when something does happen, we need to have their lies on record. We cannot accept any U.S. officials making excuses or acting ignorant of the situation, just like we saw during the 911 Commission hearings.
In fact, the White House’s continuing failure to protect the national security of our country is already a dereliction of duty.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC
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