The department tasked with protecting the country from cyber attacks has itself been successfully hacked. Whoddathunkit?
Russian hackers broke into several government networks, including Homeland Security, Treasury, and Commerce departments, and you know, probably more. Vlad is pretty thorough.
From what I can tell, all of the systems were compromised by a server update by the firm SolarWinds. The breach allegedly is connected to a Russian attack on the cybersecurity firm FireEye that the company announced last week.
SolarWinds, which has hundreds of thousands of clients (including government agencies, defense contractors, and Fortune 500 companies) said on Monday that 18,000 of them were potentially vulnerable to the attack. I mentioned that Vlad is thorough, didn’t I?
The NYTimes tells us:
“The Trump administration acknowledged on Sunday that hackers acting on behalf of a foreign government—almost certainly a Russian intelligence agency, according to federal and private experts—broke into a range of key government networks, including in the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and had free access to their email systems. Officials said a hunt was on to determine if other parts of the government had been affected by what looked to be one of the most sophisticated, and perhaps among the largest, attacks on federal systems in the past five years.”
I’m assuming that Vlad has already told his favorite asset that Russia isn’t behind it, and you know, Prznint Stupid said, Okay! Just like that time he believed Vladimir Putin when the Russian president said the Kremlin did not interfere in the 2016 election, despite reports from U.S. intelligence communities saying otherwise.
Axios Alert as I was writing this:
🚨 Situational awareness: More federal agencies acknowledged being hit by “a hack engineered by one of Russia’s premier intelligence agencies” — Defense, State and Homeland Security, in addition to Treasury and Commerce. —N.Y. Times