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Cyber Security Update: June 2021

Scott Ward

Microsoft have claimed that the Russian hackers behind the SolarWinds campaign ("Nobelium") have escalated their attacks on U.S. federal agencies, think tanks and non-governmental organizations as part of intelligence gathering efforts on behalf of their government. This was confirmed on Thursday 27th May, as per their blog post "Another Nobelium Cyberattack".

SolarWinds, a major US information technology firm, was the subject of a cyberattack that spread to its clients. This went undetected for months, and was first reported in December of 2020.

Beginning as early as March 2020, SolarWinds unwittingly sent out software updates to its customers that included the hacked code. The code created a backdoor to customers' information technology systems, which hackers then used to install even more malware that helped them spy on companies and organizations.

Federal investigators and cybersecurity experts say that Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, is most likely responsible for the attack.

Russia has since denied any involvement with the breach and former President Donald Trump had suggested, without evidence, that Chinese hackers may be the culprits. But the Biden White House has said it may respond to the cyberattack in the coming weeks, which could include actions against the Russian government. More information on this can be read here - https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/28/tech/microsoft-solarwinds-russia-hack-intl-hnk/index.html

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