Russian hackers have specifically attacked many US government agencies such as the US Treasury, State, Homeland Security, Defence, and Commerce. The US Treasury is liable for the reproduction and printing of United States Dollars (USD).
The Russian government has dismissed the allegations that they are responsible for this modern cyber-attack and have referred to the allegations as “baseless.” According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Monday, Russia had “nothing to do with” the hacking.
❗️Malicious activities in information space contradicts the principles of the 🇷🇺foreign policy, national interests and our understanding of interstate relations.
— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) December 14, 2020
As per the Washington Post,
“It is unclear what information has been stolen or exposed in the hack. But the attackers have been monitoring networks since March and were active as recently as Sunday.”
Reuters was the first who reported the attacks. They detect violations at the Treasury and Homeland Security, the department responsible for the US government’s cyber-security.
Moreover, the DHS cyber arm, which is charged with assisting the country’s protection from invasions by spiteful unknown actors, is among the US government companies negotiated in the hack.
What went wrong?
SolarWinds Orion is an organization located in Texas that has a specialization in computer networking tools. It is at the root of the violation. The software lets IT staff get remote access to computers on corporate networks. In what is referred to as a “supply-chain attack” in computer science, attackers got access to SolarWinds Orion and, consequently, reached all of its client networks, including multiple US government firms.
Furthermore, FireEye is another organization that offers US government cyber-security detected the widespread cyber campaign once it has suffered hacking in a distinct attack. FireEye said that,
“The actors manipulated SolarWinds Orion’s software updates to include malware which, once installed, allowed the hackers to monitor its customers’ systems.”
Solarwinds stated in a statement on its website,
“We have been advised this attack was likely conducted by an outside nation-state. And intended to be a narrow, extremely targeted, and manually executed attack, as opposed to a broad, system-wide attack.”
The organization has advised all users of its Orion platform to upgrade their software instantly for security.
SolarWinds asks all customers to upgrade immediately to Orion Platform version 2020.2.1 HF 1 to address a security vulnerability. More information is available at https://t.co/scsUhZJCk8
— SolarWinds (@solarwinds) December 14, 2020
According to CISA, it was operating with further companies to assist, “detect and alleviate any possible accommodations.” Moreover, the FBI stated that it was working on an answer. However, they refused to give further remarks. Chris Krebs, the director of CISA, was dismissed last month by US President Donald Trump after Krebs maintained the presidential election’s integrity and contradicted Trump’s allegations of extensive elective scams.
According to Curbs’ tweet, “hacks of this sort take extraordinary tradecraft and time.”
He further stated that he guessed that its effect was solely starting to be recognized.
As news breaks about what looks to be a pretty large-scale hack, I have the utmost confidence in the @CISAgov team and other Federal partners. I'm sorry I'm not there with them, but they know how to do this. This thing is still early, I suspect. Let's let the pros work it.
— Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) December 13, 2020
The United States federal agencies have been engaging targets for a long time for international attackers to get perspicacity into American government personnel, industrial, and defense techs along with policymaking. For example, scammers associated with Russia were able to violate into email system in 2014 of the State Department, affecting it completely that it had to be a disconnect from the internet.
However, specialists operated to reduce the infestation. Furthermore, a hack at the personnel office of the US government after a year. And they accused China undermined the private data of nearly 22 million present, previous, and proposed federal workers, which include extremely private data like background examination.
According to Dmitri Alperovitch, the cybersecurity specialist, “This can turn into one of the most impressive espionage campaigns on record.” The examination into this hack will take months, and its impacts might take years to be accomplished.