trump hack

Was Trump Responsible For SolarWinds Hack? Complicit? Perhaps by pushing his wall and gutting all other programs, yes. Whatever the root cause (incompetence or deliberate actions or cronyism) it’s clear that “the wall” was a boondoggle. It made the US weaker because the urgent issues facing US security was not migrants avoiding regular ports of crossing. So he’s as “complicit” in this as he’s complicit in the COVID outbreak in the US due to Trump’s decision to disband the US Pandemic Response Team.

Supporting Evidence: SolarWinds Hack

Trump made his wall decree in 2017 with the instruction to pull money out cybersecurity to pay for it. Did this reduction allow the attack? The answer is found within the DHS FY 2018 budget publication.

The hundreds of millions of dollars were pulled from the VERY departments tasked with monitoring for this kind of stuff. It ZEROED OUT THE BUDGET for some of the programs designed to stop/detect these kind of attacks. From the document:

• Total funding changes:

Decrease, ($99,969k) The funding decrease in Research, Development and Innovation will be applied across the six thrusts. Apex, Cargo Security, Chemical, Biological and Explosive Defense Research and Development, Counter Terrorist, Cyber Security/Information Analysis, and First Responders/Disaster Resilience. In order to maximize available research and development funding, S&T leadership has prioritized projects to support Administration and Secretarial immigration and border security priorities. source


• Cut:

Cyber Security/Information Analysis – a decrement of $20.234M eliminates Cyber Security Research Infrastructure and Cyber Transition and Outreach investment to focus on Administration and Secretarial priorities, including immigration and border security. Same Source

• Reduced Funding: Mission 4: Safeguard and Secure Cyberspace:

The Program identifies, funds, and coordinates cyber security research and development resulting in deployable security solutions. These solutions include user identity and data privacy technologies, end system security, research infrastructure, law enforcement forensic capabilities, secure protocols, software assurance, and cybersecurity education. Cut 20% from $86,483k in FY 2017 to $58,248k in FY 2018

• Cyber Security Research Infrastructure – FY 2017 Annualized Continuing Resolution:

$10.847M. FY 2018 Request: $0. This program provides the infrastructure necessary to support the R&D that is critical for matching and adapting cyber threats. Much like testing for CBE R&D, special testbeds and data sets must be made available to the cyber research community, and unlike CBE, there is not a large selection of facilities or capabilities like missile ranges or BSL-4 laboratories that can be used to safely test malicious code somewhere other than on the live Internet or on real data.

And these kinds of programs are EXACTLY the kind of R&D cyberthreat analysis that is designed to look for 0 day security risks from all software (3rd party and in-house). The gutting of these programs certainly made Trump responsible for the SolarWinds hack.