SolarWinds attackers lurked for ‘several months’ in FireEye’s network
Top execs from FireEye, SolarWinds, Microsoft, and CrowdStrike testified before the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Feb. 23 on the aftermath – and ongoing investigations – into the epic attacks.
The attackers who infiltrated SolarWinds Orion’s software build and updates had spent “several months” embedded in FireEye’s network before the security firm spotted them, Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, told a congressional committee today.
“The attacker wasn’t alive every single day” on our network, Mandia told the US Senate Intelligence Committee in response to a question about the attack time frame on FireEye’s network. “They were on our systems for three hours on one day, a week would go by, and a couple of hours another day. We weren’t a full-time job for [them] … because they had broken into another 60-plus, if not 100, organizations. There were several days of activity before we detected them.”
Mandia, along with Microsoft president Brad Smith, CrowdStrike president and CEO George Kurtz, and new SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, testified before the intelligence committee today in a hearing on the so-called SolarWinds cyber espionage attack campaign that US intelligence officials say is most likely the handiwork of Russian nation-state actors.
Conspicuously missing from the panel was Amazon Web Services (AWS), which declined the Senate’s invitation to testify — a snub that appeared to rile several senators on the committee. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., pointed out that the attack was waged inside the US, and some secondary command-and-control nodes were hosted on AWS’s infrastructure.
Mark Warner, D-Va., chair of the committee, noted that companies “who chose not to participate so far, we’re going to give them another chance.”
AWS did not respond to an inquiry from Dark Reading for this article.
It’s still unclear how many other companies, including software firms, may have been targeted and hit in the attacks. FireEye’s Mandia noted that the attackers behind the massive campaign walked off with plenty of stolen information — and they’ll be back.
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