During the previous week, reports were coming in that SolarWinds, an IT organization, was being hacked. While the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo felt that the Russian government was the mastermind behind this attack, Trump felt that all of this was some China-based hackers’ work. Some major sectors, including the US Treasury, Commerce, State, Energy, and the Homeland Security regions, have been badly hit.
Also, speculations are rife, stating that the email systems were badly compromised within the US Treasury and Commerce sectors. An inquiry process is underway to determine the companies and sectors that have been affected due to this attack.
However, in what could be a major blow to the Information Technology sector, the Wall Street Journal claims the SolarWinds hack attack has hit some major IT firms. The firms include major techies like Cisco, Intel, Nvidia, Belkin, and VMware, whose computer networks have been attacked by the malware virus. However, these are names of only a few firms that have come forth. There could be many more such companies whose computer network systems may have been compromised.
As SolarWinds has claimed, the complete hacking attack might have infected “fewer than 18,000” organizations. Now, this is not a very small number, even if it is true. On top of it, speculations are coming forth stating that SolarWinds might not be revealing the names of all of its clients who have been hit by this attack. The latest news report related to all of this reveals a few companies affected by the hack. Earlier, there were a few doubts regarding the same.
When enquired about the same, these techies gave the most classic response of the type “we’re investigating, but we don’t think this has impacted us.” However, going by some past experiences, one thing is for sure that to realize the actual depth of the impact that these hacks could have, it might take some time. Moreover, once the hackers have taken control over a particular system, one cannot predict when the system would again become free and safe. A report from Associated Press has revealed that once a system has been hacked, it is very difficult to trust the system again.
Interestingly, investigations have revealed that a new group of hackers has carried out the recent hacking operation. They have dug into the SolarWinds network in a similar manner carried out by the earlier hacking team. The latest hacking operation, referred to as ‘Supernova,’ is quite different from the main hack attack, referred to as ‘Sunburst.’ The motive of both the hacks are different.
There could be various reasons why the networks of these major IT companies went on to be hacked. Some theories also hint at these attacks to get through to government agencies, as these firms made use of IT systems that were owned by SolarWinds. Going by the reactions coming in from these IT organizations, one cannot say that they are particularly concerned or taken aback regarding this complete hacking operation. On the contrary, the Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has ordered all federal civilian firms to stop using systems owned by SolarWinds with immediate effect.
Image source: TheVerge