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Trump: I'll have 'hacking defense' report in 90 days

The president-elect promises to improve US cybersecurity so the nation won't get "hacked by everybody."

Donald Trump
At Donald Trump's first press conference since winning the election, he promised a report on cyberdefense in the next 90 days.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

First he blasted the US government for having "the worst" cybersecurity. Then President-elect Donald Trump vowed to do something about it.

In his first press conference since July, when he suggested that Russia should try to uncover Hillary Clinton's missing emails, Trump promised a "major report on hacking defense" within the next 90 days.

He's given that mission to Rep. Mike Pompeo and Sen. Dan Coats, his picks for CIA director and National Intelligence director, respectively. Trump said the report would cover Russian hacking during the US presidential election, along with US cybersecurity flaws generally.

"How do we stop this fairly new phenomenon? Because the US is hacked by everybody," Trump said during his press conference Wednesday. "That includes Russia and China and...everybody."

On Friday, US intelligence agencies said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "unprecedented" hacking attacks and propaganda campaigns leading up to the 2016 elections.

The charges of election meddling represent the latest twist in the sometimes surreal saga that's played out since the middle of last year, a tale that's been equal parts mystery and mudslinging, internet technology and international intrigue. A wild card through the whole thing: the Julian Assange-led WikiLeaks organization, which published documents purporting to show the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee.

That saga has unfolded against the backdrop of more widespread hacking that's exposed the personal information of private citizens, the revealing photographs of Hollywood celebrities and the trade secrets of businesses large and small.

The president-elect didn't offer any specifics on how he'll tackle the vulnerabilities, but he had harsh words for those who have been in charge.

Trump described the US government's cybersecurity as "the worst," pointing to an analysis from April putting the government's tech protection at the bottom of the list among 17 industries.

The former "Apprentice" reality TV star referenced the Office of Personnel Management breach, in which Chinese hackers were said to have stolen sensitive information belonging to nearly 22 million Americans.

He said the nation's cybersecurity was "run by people who don't know what they're doing."

Trump suggested he would be relying on the titans of the US tech industry. He brought up the tech summit hosted at Trump Tower in December, which was attended by the "six top [tech] people in the world." He didn't cite them by name, but the meeting featured a Silicon Valley who's who, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt from Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon head Jeff Bezos, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

"We have much hacking going on," Trump said. "We're going to put those minds together and we're going to form a defense."

Trump also shifted his position on the US intelligence report accusing Putin of ordering the hacks during the election. He told reporters Wednesday he now believes Russia was behind the cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee. Russia has denied the charges.

But he also took pride in the Republican National Committee's cybersecurity, hoping to get some credit for the web safeguards during the GOP's national convention in Cleveland.

"They tried to hack the Republican National Committee and they were unable to break through," Trump said. "We have to do that for our country."

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