Cyber attack, first identified when US government agencies were targeted, was targeted at cyber targets around the world, raising concerns about global cyber security.
Microsoft has already announced that it has notified more than 40 major customers affected by the malicious software allegedly brought by hackers associated with the Russian government. The malicious software allowed attackers unrestricted access to a wide range of public and private networks.
Until yesterday, 80% of attacks occurred in the United States, although Microsoft has already reported attacks in 7 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. But the list continues to grow. The White House did not comment on the current position.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal counsel, said the firm had discovered 40 clients, including government agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, and IT companies, who were “more precisely targeted and compromised” on The hackers said they had initial access earlier this year.
“The number and location of victims is bound to continue to grow. This is not usually espionage, even in the digital age. Instead, it represents an act of recklessness that has created a serious technological vulnerability to the United States and the world “.
The attack appears to have started when an updated popular IT network management tool called “Orion”, made by SolarWinds, was compromised since March this year. About 18,000 customers put the update at risk, many of them working for US government agencies.
The hackers allegedly maliciously installed software used by the US Treasury Department and the Department of Commerce, allowing them to see internal email traffic.
Of these, at least 40 were selected by attackers for further exploitation, including the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Commerce, where the emails are believed to have been read, and the Ministry of Telecommunications and National Information.
Microsoft announced that it was able to track part of the impact of the SolarWinds attack because it was brought in by customers to help deploy its in-house antivirus software. MicroSoft admitted it was the victim of the attack, although “it is not proof of access to production services or customer data”.
The United States National Security Agency has called for increased surveillance to prevent unauthorized access to major military and civilian networks.
In a statement from the NSA … “The recent compromise of Orion SolarWinds code is a serious example of how local systems can be compromised, leading to abuse of federal authentication and malicious access to the cloud.”
Analysts said the attacks pose a threat to national security by infiltrating key government systems, while creating key infrastructure management risks for systems like power grids and other utilities.
Cyber security at the Department of Homeland Security admits that the full scale of the attack is “not yet known”, with most local government systems and the private sector “at great risk”.
Although federal authorities have so far traced the launch of the attack back to March, it is unclear how long alleged agents could have been involved in some of the US government’s most critical agencies, including state departments , Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency says it has not identified who was behind the malicious software attack, but private security firms have pointed the finger at hackers linked to the Russian government.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also suggested Moscow’s involvement on Monday, saying the Russian government has made repeated attempts to hack into US government networks.
Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden said he was “deeply concerned” about the computer hack while Utah Senator Mitt Romney criticized what he called the “unforgettable silence” of the White House.
Microsoft’s shares fell 0.36% to $ 218.63 in yesterday’s trading. SolarWinds shares were down 0.45% to $ 17.52.