Trump administration officially says huge hack was likely a Russian espionage operation

WASHINGTON — Nearly a month after reports emerged of a massive hack of U.S. government agencies and corporations, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it had formed a task force to deal with the repercussions of what it officially acknowledged — for the first time — was likely a damaging Russian espionage operation.

“This is a serious compromise that will require a sustained and dedicated effort to remediate,” said a joint statement from the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The statement said that “fewer than 10” federal agencies had been compromised by “an intelligence gathering effort” that is “likely Russian in origin.”

The statement did not name the agencies that have been hacked, but NBC News has reported that among them are Treasury, Commerce, State and Energy.

The acknowledgement that the hack appeared to have been carried out by Russia — sources have told NBC News it was likely the SVR, Russia’s equivalent of the CIA — came despite President Donald Trump having cast doubt on that finding, saying last month it could have been China.

Source: Trump administration officially says huge hack was likely a Russian espionage operation