The hack by Russia is huge. Here’s why it matters.

An aerial photo of a pentagon shaped building.
The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia outside Washington, D.C. is seen in this aerial photograph, April 23, 2015.
Saul Loeb | AFP via Getty Images

It’s an espionage campaign so broad that security experts say we’re still uncovering who was affected and what was stolen.

A massive computer breach pinned on a Russian intelligence agency allowed hackers to spend months exploring U.S. government and private company computers, undetected. Federal agencies like the Treasury and Commerce Departments were hit, as well as thousands of civilian networks. Hackers apparently got into networks through an update from SolarWinds, a software company.

Recovering from the attack won’t be easy. Experts say companies and agencies can either spend time trying to eradicate every trace of the hackers and identify every possible backdoor they might have built during the months they had unfettered access. Or, they can burn it all down and start over.

What are the consequences to the attack? And is this the new world of spying? Tuesday at 9 a.m., MPR News host Kerri Miller talked with two security experts who say America needs to get ready for more operations like this.

Guests:

  • Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

  • Molly McKew is a writer and an expert on information warfare.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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