How to Understand the Russia Hack Fallout
This week news broke that United States government agencies and corporations alike—as well as international targets—were victims of a massive nation-state espionage campaign. But as the revelations continue to pile up, and new targets are discovered by the day, it can be hard to get a handle on what exactly happened and what it all means.
The hackers, who have been widely reported as Russian, compromised high-profile targets like the US Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Energy Departments, as well as companies like the security firm FireEye. All of the attacks appear to stem from one initial compromise of the IT infrastructure and network-management firm SolarWinds. Hackers had breached the company as far back as October 2019, then planted malicious code in software updates to its network-monitoring tool, Orion. Any customer that installed an Orion patch released between March and June inadvertently planted a Russian backdoor on their own network.