US Nuclear Agency, 3 States and Microsoft was Breached by Russian Hackers
By: Ashwathy Nair
- US Nuclear Agency was targeted as part of the larger attack.
- The investigation stated that the malware has been isolated to business networks only.
- Microsoft has found malicious code, which has been isolated and removed.
A suspected Russian cyber-attack which hit several federal government agencies were claimed to have hacked the U.S. nuclear weapons agency along with at least three states. As per the reports by Reuters, Microsoft Corp. was also attacked but it is being denied by the company saying that its products were used to further attack on others.
As part of the larger attack, the Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration that maintain a nuclear stockpile of America were targeted. An investigation is going on and it has found that the “mission-essential national security functions” was not affected by the hack.
As per the investigation, it has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only. The nuclear agency’s hack was reported earlier by Politico. A spokesman from Microsoft, Frank Shaw stated that some malicious code was found in the environment, which has been isolated and removed. No evidence of access to production services or customer data has been found. According to the ongoing investigation, it is clear that there are no signs found regarding the systems being used to attack others.
The investigation on the attack stated three state governments were attacked but the states are not identified. An advisory that signalled about the spreading alarm over the breach, the Cybersecurity as well as Infrastructure Security Agency stated that a “grave risk” to federal, state and local governments along with critical infrastructure and the private sector were posed by the hackers. As per the agency, a “sophistication and complex tradecraft” was demonstrated by the attackers.
While President Donald Trump has yet to address the hack publicly, on Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement on what appears to be a significant cybersecurity attack that potentially affects thousands of victims, including U.S. businesses and federal government agencies.
Any involvement in the attack has been denied by Russia.
In order to alleviate the risk from the hack, efforts were immediately taken including disconnection of software that was “identified as being vulnerable to this attack”.
Although, many information are still unknown, as per the company and cybersecurity experts, the hackers are believed to have gained access to networks by installing malicious code in a commonly used software programme from SolarWinds Corp., whose clients include government agencies and Fortune 500 organizations. The departments of Homeland Security, Treasury, Commerce and State were violated.