Cyberattack On U.S. Government "Very Damaging," Rep. Lynch Says

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch was one of the members of Congress involved in a closed-door briefing Friday about a massive cyberattack, believed to be linked to Russia, that has affected several U.S. government agencies.

Rep. Lynch told WBZ NewsRadio the hackers hit several different areas of the government, and thousands of private companies.

"This was a very extensive hack in scope, at least eight or nine U.S. government agencies, some of those very sensitive, nuclear, home land security, financial, economic," Lynch said. "As well as the National Institute of Health... and over 18,000 private entities."

Lynch said Congress is still trying to get its out arms around how wide and deep of a hack it was, but he said they are slowly putting the pieces back together.

"It was initiated ... as far back as seven or eight months ago, and so this compromise has been very damaging," Lynch added.

According to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the cyberattack was "a significant effort" to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. Government systems.

"I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity," Pompeo said Friday.

President Trump made his first remarks about the widespread attack on Saturday morning, seemingly countering Pompeo's comments about Russia, instead suggesting without evidence that China might be responsible.

"Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of...discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)" Trump tweeted.

Rep. Lynch said he was unhappy with the level of specificity that the briefers gave members of Congress Friday morning.

"They have formed a Unified Coalition Group, which consists of the FBI and Homeland security and others, but other than coming together, they didn't really provide as much information as I am able to get from the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal," Lynch said. "They've got to step up their game... They should be able to talk about their response in a more open and specific way."

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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