Following Microsoft's announcement that its source code was accessed by the alleged hackers linked to Russia, now it appears that the hack might be even worse than what the officials had initially comprehended. The hack that had targeted the private businesses and government agencies of the United States of America, now seems to have affected around 250 federal agencies and business, according to the New York Times report; whereas initially it was thought that only a few dozen of the 18,000 government and private networks were affected.
The report also mentions that evidences suggest that Russia exploited several layers of the supply chain to intrude the systems of the agencies.
Microsoft, which revealed on Thursday that the hackers were able to access its internal networks and a small number of internal accounts that were used as source code repositories, has also added that the Orion monitoring and management software of SolarWinds, a company based out of Texas, were breached by the hackers, which allowed them "impersonate any of the organization's existing users and accounts, including highly privileged accounts."
The Times report suggests that although the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) had "early warning" sensors in place to detect any latent attacks, it failed during this SolarWinds attack. Add to that, it appears that the US government's attention was more tilted towards protecting the November elections from foreign intrusions, which may have contributed to this instance, as most pf the resources and focus were taken away from the software supply chain, according to the Times.
Since the attack was conducted by the hackers by using the servers located inside the USA, it let hackers to dodge the cyberdefenses deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the Times in a statement that the effect of the hack now seems much worse than what the officials believed earlier and it's clear that the US government did miss it.
Now the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the United States has made it clear that all the US federal agencies will have update the SolarWinds Orion software, which was attacked by the hackers, or they will have to take all of its apps offline.
The country's top cybersecurity agency has already restructured and updated its official guidance for handling the consequences following the SolarWinds supply chain attack.
CISA has warned all the US government agencies that are still making use of the SolarWinds Orion monitoring and management platform that they must update to the latest 2020.2.1HF2 version of the software.