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There has been a breach at the US Treasury and it could spark up a prolonged geopolitical risk for financial markets.

The FBI is investigating a breach into the Treasury and Commerce departments by a group known as Cozy Bear, which also hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2015, as per the Washington Post.

Reuters first reported that hackers had been monitoring internal emails at the departments, specifically targeting an agency in Commerce responsible for US telecommunications policy.

It is said to be by state-backed hackers, centring on Russia.

Multiple federal government agencies, including the US Treasury and Commerce departments, have had some of their computer systems breached.

Russia’s foreign intelligence service is suspected of being behind the hacks and the Commerce Department confirmed that one of its bureaus had been breached.

 “The United States government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation,” said National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot.

 a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday.

The Commerce Department confirmed there was a breach at one of its agencies in a statement.

“We have asked the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this time.”

Market implications

The full scope of the breach is unclear, but this has the potential to swell into a risk-off theme at the start of the week and likely will be a risk for many weeks ahead. So far, markets have taken the news in its stride. 

“This is a much bigger story than one single agency,” said one of the people familiar with the matter. “This is a huge cyber espionage campaign targeting the US government and its interests.”

The investigation is still its early stages and involves a range of federal agencies, including the FBI, according to three of the people familiar with the matter.