Sophisticated cyberattack on U.S. government much worse than first feared

The scale of a sophisticated cyberattack on the U.S. government that was unearthed this week is much bigger than first believed. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a summary Thursday that the threat “poses a grave risk to the federal government.” CISA added that “state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations” are also at risk.

Sophisticated cyberattack on U.S. government much worse than first feared

Sam Shead for CNBC:

“This threat actor has demonstrated sophistication and complex tradecraft in these intrusions,” CISA said. “Removing the threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging.” CISA has not said who it thinks is the “advanced persistent threat actor” behind the “significant and ongoing” campaign, but many experts are pointing to Russia.

The FBI said Wednesday it is “investigating and gathering intelligence in order to attribute, pursue, and disrupt the responsible threat actors.”

CISA said those behind the attack used network management software made by SolarWinds, a Texas-headquartered IT firm, to breach the government networks. As many as 18,000 SolarWinds Orion customers downloaded a software update that contained a backdoor, which the hackers used to gain access to the networks. CISA issued an “emergency directive” this week instructing federal civilian agencies to “immediately disconnect or power down affected SolarWinds Orion products from their network.” But the perpetrators may have used other means to access the networks. CISA said Thursday is investigating “evidence of additional access vectors, other than the SolarWinds Orion platform.”

Jack Stubbs and Ryan McNeill for Reuters:

Suspected Russian hackers accessed the systems of a U.S. internet provider and a county government in Arizona as part of a sprawling cyber-espionage campaign disclosed this week, according to an analysis of publicly-available web records.

The intrusions into networks at Cox Communications and the local government in Pima County, Arizona, show that alongside victims including the U.S. departments of Defence, State, and Homeland Security, the hackers also spied on less high-profile organizations.

SolarWinds, which disclosed its unwitting role at the centre of the global hack on Monday, has said that up to 18,000 users of its Orion software downloaded a compromised update containing malicious code planted by the attackers.

As the fallout continued to roil Washington on Thursday, with a breach confirmed at the U.S. Energy Department, U.S. officials warned that the hackers had used other attack methods and urged organisations not to assume they were protected if they didn’t use recent versions of the SolarWinds software.

Microsoft, which was one of the thousands of companies to receive the malicious update, said it had currently notified more than 40 customers whose networks were further infiltrated by the hackers.

MacDailyNews Take: As we said on Monday of this cyberattack on U.S. government and others, “This sounds like just the tip of the iceberg.”

For more information, read FireEye’s blog post: Highly Evasive Attacker Leverages SolarWinds Supply Chain to Compromise Multiple Global Victims With SUNBURST Backdoor.

31 Comments

  1. But, don’t worry your empty little heads, mindless lemmings, the random jumble of electronic voting systems are perfectly secure and your election results are absolutely untainted. CNN says so.

    1. All of the cases “thrown out” to date were on procedural/standing grounds, not evidence or merit. There is tons of evidence, but no court has been brave enough to exam it. The “paper copies” can also be created fraudulently with no signature matching or other security measures, especially with millions of mail-in ballots. A re-count with validation has not been done….

      1. Russia is mad because Joe won? Oh wait, the attack occurred when Don was at the helm and they actually sowed confusion harming his chances?

        I though Don and Vlad were working together? That’s what I heard on all the good news channels.

    2. You lie. Or believe the MSM’s lies.

      Either option is sad. You’re either a liar or a pawn.

        1. Oh Kanekoa, maybe people thought I was ridiculing your fascination with dhots, but maybe not? They surely didn’t embrace with wholeheartedness that Jill’s a smart doc (that’s needs to return to grammar school)?
          But in any case, maybe the dhots make sense and the reason no one what’s to find out, if true/false/relevant, is what may result…like our limp-wristed Chief Justice?

          Truth can be painful, but not if it remains hidden, or people shield their eyes from finding out.

          https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1339652797738999811?s=20

      1. Awesome job First Then! Overwhelming proof of the theft of the presidential election. But the CommieCrats will pretend it’s fake and irrelevant. We needed to stomp on these dangerous people over the past 50 years. Now they have infested everything from local to state to federal governments and almost every school system. What can we do now to surgically remove this traitorous cancer from our body politic?

          1. Ah, Cynic, you don’t appreciate the depth of the conspiracy. All the judges with impeccable Republican credentials (three Supreme Court Justices were on the Bush legal team in 2000), vetted by the Heritage Foundation, endorsed by the Federalist Society, appointed by President Trump, and confirmed by a Republican Senate were actually Democratic Party Deep State imbeds. Likewise for all the Republican state officials who campaigned for Trump but were really secret agents for Biden-Soros-Chavez. There is no more evidence of that than that the election was stolen, but the lack of evidence just proves how insidious the plot was.

      2. According to Sir Charles Dilke….There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

        How long are you idiots going to drink the koolaid? No one cares about the Dominion machines (originally from Canada which confirms they cannot lie…lol) as the paper ballots have been counted by HAND…..duh.

    3. Bot: you are so full of crap it’s unbelievable. Your party affiliation and preferences over the well-being of your country’s fellow citizens is appalling. Thomas Jefferson warned that political parties would be the cause of the destruction of the USA and you are proving that to be true every day.

    4. The hack was done by US military loyal to the Constitution. (Kraken) A trap was set for the deep state and they fell right into it. These fools who support the NWO have no idea what is about to happen. It’s going to be fun to watch.

  2. There is no evidence provided that such an attack ever took place. Multiple sources called this differently and as “the securest ever”. This conspiracy theory is also disputed. Learn more about CISA security efforts. Also you are banned for distributing, commenting and reading this post.

  3. No. I smell a false flag conspiracy. US history has had abundant examples: Communism, Viet Nam, Saddam, possibly the WTC, now this super duper cyber attack where we are al supposed to jump up in outrage. Gees. Come on! All have one thing in common: The enrichment of congressional friends via a bigger and more elaborate, hence pricier, National Security Police State Apparatus which kicks back money to legislator’s reelection campaigns. It’s about the growth of the military and police-based government to control people better.
    In the meantime, normal, non-connected and poor folks are increasing in numbers. Pay them first, then pay Pentagon contractors later on with token, low pay contracts and jobs.
    So don’t fall for this current synthetic, phony, false, totally made up, fantasy shenanigan.

  4. I guess the authorities (FBI) were in Austin for some hiking on the Greenbelt and they have friends at Solar Winds that like to hike? (Let’s play it up a bit Solar Winds CEO…tell ’em we wanted your passport…just to make it fit the narrative, ok?)

    1. Your mention of Russiagate an applicable reference…but look how long it took to play out and be revealed.
      If fact, it’s still playing out. There are more than a couple of visitors to this site that still think the story has veracity. A guy with a “T” name start for instance, that’s the self-appointed truth detector for all, is one. T is not for Trump, btw.

      The point, “who the fark knows” unless time has eroded the flack and the real substance is revealed?
      We are in a period where truth/reality is frighteningly fluid.

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