Advantage IT Management Blog

We All Just Saw the Largest Cyberattack Ever - Here’s What You Should Know

We All Just Saw the Largest Cyberattack Ever - Here’s What You Should Know

Based on how the rest of the year has gone, it should come as no surprise that 2020 has come to an end with the news that the United States was targeted in the largest cyberespionage attack ever. Let’s go into what this attack signifies, and what we should all take away from it.

How Did the Attack Happen?

In short, an IT management company known as SolarWinds was breached back in March, affecting a massive number of organizations—18,000 in all. These organizations include the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, and FireEye, as well as many states and federal organizations, including:

  • The U.S. Department of State
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • The U.S. Department of Energy
  • The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  • The National Institutes of Health, of the U.S. Department of Health
  • The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration

When the attackers gained access to SolarWinds’ network, they were able to use what is known as a supply chain attack to introduce their malware to these departments and organizations by pushing it through the company’s automatic software update system for their Orion products. These kinds of attacks can be particularly effective since the threat is introduced to an environment via a trusted application.

Making this situation worse, many SolarWinds customers had excluded Orion products from their security checks on SolarWinds’ recommendation to prevent their other security products from shutting them down due to the malware signatures that these security products contain.

While (at the time of this writing) it is unclear what the attackers responsible used this access to do, the potential ramifications are truly terrifying. While government departments were targeted, it also needs to be said that this attack could have potentially continued from the major providers like Microsoft and Cisco to their clients, and so on and so forth. That’s why there is still no estimate of this attack’s true scope.

This attack was seemingly only discovered when an employee at FireEye received an alert that their VPN credentials had been used from a new device, and a little digging revealed the much larger situation playing out.

This Wasn’t the Only Attack, Either

Another attack was also discovered on SolarWinds’ network when the company performed an internal audit of its systems. On December 18, a second malware was found to have used the same tactic to infiltrate SolarWinds, but as of this writing does not seem to come from the same source.

What This Needs to Teach Us

Frankly, the most important lessons to be learned here are painfully obvious. First off, cybersecurity needs to be prioritized above all else, and all potential threats should be considered a likelihood. After all, the U.S. government was warned about the viability of exactly this kind of threat back in 2018 by the Government Accountability Office.

Secondly, the concept of your employees being a huge part of your cybersecurity strategy needs to be reinforced. This was only discovered when an employee was alerted of unusual activity and took that alert seriously. Your team needs to know what they are looking out for, and how to proceed if they spot it.

It isn’t likely that the true extent of this situation will be clear to us for some time, but what should be clear is that we’ll be here to keep your IT as safe as we can, regardless. If you have any questions pertaining to your business’ technology, give Advantage IT Management a call at 251-662-9770.

How to Resolve the Most Prevalent Security Threat ...
Non-Technical Solutions for Team Collaboration
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, January 22 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.advantageitm.com/

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Recent Comments

RyanMcCawley Is it Wrong to Purchase Access to Your Own Data?
11 November 2020
As we know there are so many colleges and universities. From http://www.carwrapsanantonio.net/ stude...
WilliamMMartin What You Need to Know to Manage a Remote Workforce
29 April 2020
Managing a remote workforce is tough, but now a day it is the requirement and we all need to take ca...
Malcolm Quinn Gmail and the G Suite Get Overhauled with A.I.
13 April 2020
Some of the sites on the link can be overhauled and users can get different advantages. On the other...
Avye Goodwin ALERT: Change Your Twitter Password, Says Twitter
25 March 2020
When you create your Twitter account you have to make your password secure and healthy so that you c...
Jerry Bradford The Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a Smart Lock for Your Business
17 March 2020
There are many advantages and disadvantages to getting some smart lock that was for the local busine...