The Massive SolarWinds Hack Explained in Context
This week, the U.S. government was rocked by a massive cyberattack that compromised the systems of a third-party software vendor and leaked data from several federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security. of Homeland Security, DHS).
Attack on SolarWinds has alerted many of the nation’s largest companies.
SolarWinds said in a statement to investors this week that about 18,000 of its customers (out of 300,000) may have used software containing a vulnerability that allowed hackers to infiltrate the Department of Commerce. US officials suspect hackers linked to Russia are behind the hack.
SolarWinds provides services to over 425 US Fortune 500 companies, as reported on a website page that has since been shut down but remains available on the Wayback Machine’s Internet Archive.
Among the companies listed on the page were famous names such as Cisco (CSCO), AT&T (T), Microsoft (MSFT), Comcast (CCZ) and McDonald&# 39; s (MCD), as well as financial giants Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA). Several of these companies told CNN Business that they are currently investigating. At least a few of them say they have suffered to some degree..
A Cisco spokesperson told CNN Business on Friday that she «identified and remediated vulnerable software in a small number of lab environments and a limited number of employee devices».
«There are currently no known implications for Cisco offerings or products», – said the representative. «We continue to study all aspects of this evolving situation as a matter of priority».
Microsoft also admitted that it was affected by the hack.
«Like other SolarWinds customers, we are actively looking for indicators of this subject and can confirm that we have detected malicious SolarWinds binaries on our system, which we have isolated and removed.», – said a Microsoft spokesman in a statement, adding that the company found no evidence that its services or customer data was accessed. «Our ongoing research has found absolutely no indication that our systems were being used to attack others.».
Microsoft said in a blog post on Thursday that more than 40 of its customers in eight countries were using hacked software, with 80% of them in the United States. Microsoft is working to notify affected organizations, its president said in a statement. Brad smith (Brad Smith).
«Every organization [and] company must be concerned because they must assume that their networks have been compromised and an attacker is tracking and observing their actions», – said Kirsten Todt (Kiersten Todt), Former Cyber Security Officer in Administration Barack obama and executive director Cyber Readiness Institute.
«Companies will have to do a hurricane-like cleanup», – she added. «It will be expensive and large-scale – companies will have to determine what was hacked and what remained stable.».
Comcast said in a statement that they «conduct a thorough internal review», to investigate their systems for any signs of being compromised, but they have no reason to believe that their data has been compromised.
Likewise, Visa conducted an internal review and stated that everything is in order for the moment.. «Security comes first for Visa and we will continue to monitor the situation closely», – the company said in a statement.
AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, declined to comment. McDonald&# 39; s and Mastercard did not immediately respond to requests for comment.