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  • A string of hacks of U.

  • S federal agencies and corporations identified last month likely originated in Russia, the US director of national intelligence said on Tuesday.

  • A joint statement issued by federal security agencies said the hackers goal appeared to be collecting intelligence rather than any destructive acts.

  • They said they had identified fewer than 10 agencies that were hacked, although added that the investigation is ongoing and more government victims may be identified.

  • The statement is the first concrete attribution of the incident by the Trump administration.

  • Meanwhile, Russian officials have denied involvement and did not immediately respond to questions.

  • Security company Fireeye, which was itself breached, discovered the new round of hacks, many which were later traced to a tainted software update from the network management developer Solar winds.

  • As many as 18,000 customers downloaded the updates at companies like Microsoft and US federal departments, including defense, state, Treasury and homeland security.

  • The breach is considered the worst known cyber compromise in the last five years.

  • Previously, President Donald Trump suggested the hackers could be from China, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly said in a radio interview that it was quote pretty clear that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.

  • Meanwhile, President elect Joe Biden criticized the president's response and has promised an overwhelming focus on the hacks when he assumes office in January.

A string of hacks of U.

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