Less than a week after U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye reports that they’ve been hacked, the U.S. discovers that Russian hackers have infiltrated multiple U.S. agencies. The hack is reported on Sunday but might have taken place all the way back in March.
At the time of this file’s last update, breaches have been found at Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, State, and Treasury. Early reports can only verify that the hackers are monitoring email communications within those departments. This is the second time in five years we’ve caught the Kremlin inside the Treasury.
Hackers breached the agencies (and companies like Microsoft) through a network management system called SolarWinds. In addition to the agencies where breaches are identified, SolarWinds is used by the White House, National Security Agency, the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, the FBI, all five branches of the U.S. military, and 425 of the corporations that make up the Fortune 500.
Cyber attacks on government agencies and U.S. hospitals began months ago, but — as far as we know — only hospital systems had been breached before now.
Organizations in other countries around the globe may also have been compromised through the FireEye / SolarWinds hack.