Earlier this week it was revealed that hackers working for a foreign nation had managed to infiltrate sectors of the US Government. The supply chain attack managed to be hidden within a SolarWinds update and as a result, the issue is widespread.
When the US Government was aware of a hacking issue it brought in the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, but the body may be overwhelmed as more areas appear to have been accessed. It has now been revealed that the US Nuclear Weapons Agency was also breached by the hack. This raises questions about how much information the hackers gained access to.
Exactly what information has been taken by hackers has not been discussed publicly. In fact, the greatest insight into the situation is the significant amount of resignations made in the CISA.
Politico has noted the statement made by Shaylyn Hynes, a DOE spokesperson, about the situation inside the nuclear weapon agency:
“At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only, and has not impacted the mission essential national security functions of the department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration. When DOE identified vulnerable software, immediate action was taken to mitigate the risk, and all software identified as being vulnerable to this attack was disconnected from the DOE network.”
While many will be relieved that essential parts of the agencies systems were not compromised, there are still concerns about the full scale of this attack. At the moment, investigators are still trying to find systems that have been attacked, and there is no concrete evidence of who is responsible.
The CISA, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have released a joint statement, that notes that the investigation is set to continue:
“This is a developing situation, and while we continue to work to understand the full extent of this campaign, we know this compromise has affected networks within the federal government.”
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how serious this issue is and how many sectors have been impacted.
Images via Alamy.