Remediation of the fallout from the massive breach of SolarWinds network management tools – which affected up to 18,000 organizations – could cost companies billions.
In the breach, the attackers were able to compromise the update process of a widely used piece of SolarWinds software. In cybersecurity circles, this is referred to as a supply chain attack – an especially devastating variety of cyber aggression. By compromising just one vendor, attackers may get access to all the vendor’s customers.
US national security costs could also be significant, since the list of breached IT organizations included those of the Pentagon, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Four federal agencies – the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) – issued a joint statement saying that the SolarWinds attack was “likely Russian in origin.”