Close to 200 organizations allegedly hacked by Russia: cybersecurity firm
Close to 200 organizations were hacked by Russia as part of the cybersecurity attack on SolarWinds, a third party software contractor, that has compromised multiple government agencies, Bloomberg News reported.
Massachusetts-based cyber security firm Recorded Future identified 198 organizations that were hacked by a malicious update, threat analyst Allan Liska told the news outlet.
Three people familiar with the inquiry told Bloomberg the hack further compromised at least 200 victims by attempting to move in their computer networks or gain user credentials.
About 18,000 SolarWinds customers received the malicious update, according to Bloomberg. Of that number, more than 1,000 experienced a malicious code ping that gave hackers further access to sensitive networks.
The identities of the victims were not provided to Bloomberg, and the number is expected to grow as the investigation continues.
The statement added that it’s not able to determine exactly how many or which organizations were affected.
The analysis comes as America grapples with the fallout of the hack, which some have suggested could have amounted to an act of war. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency said this week that the attack posed a “grave risk” to government and private sector organizations.
Reuters first reported last Sunday that the Treasury Department and an agency in the Commerce Department were compromised as part of the breach into SolarWinds. The Washington Post later reported that Russian military intelligence unit “Cozy Bear” was allegedly behind the attack.
During an interview on “The Mark Levin Show” Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in the activity.”
Yet President Trump downplayed the hack on Saturday, questioning whether Russia was really behind the cyber attack, saying on Twitter that “everything is well under control.”
“Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!),” Trump tweeted.
Multiple government agencies were reported to have been compromised over the past week, including the State Department, Department of Defense and agencies within the Department of Energy.
Updated on Dec. 20 at 9:06 a.m.