new video loaded: U.S. Is Investigating SolarWinds Hack ‘Layer by Layer,’ Official Says

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U.S. Is Investigating SolarWinds Hack ‘Layer by Layer,’ Official Says

Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, said it would take time to uncover the details of the suspected Russian attack on federal and corporate computer networks.

Hackers launched a broad and indiscriminate effort to compromise the network management software used by both government and the private sector. The intelligence community is looking at who is responsible. Until that study is complete, I’ll use the language we previously used, which was to say, an advanced, persistent threat actor, likely of Russian origin, was responsible. How did this happen? There’s two parts to that: them and us. The actor was a sophisticated, advanced, persistent threat. Advanced because the level of knowledge they showed about the technology and the way they compromised it truly was sophisticated. Persistent: They focused on the identity part of the network, which is the hardest to clean up. And threat: The scope and scale — to networks, to information — makes this more than an isolated case of espionage. And then us. There’s a lack of domestic visibility. So as a country, we choose to have both privacy and security. So the intelligence community largely has no visibility into private sector networks. The hackers launched the hack from inside the United States, which further made it difficult for the U.S. government to observe their activity. Even within federal networks, a culture and authorities inhibit visibility, which is something we need to address. This is challenging. This is a sophisticated actor who did their best to hide their tracks. We believe it took them months to plan and execute this compromise. It’ll take us some time to uncover this, layer by layer. We’re absolutely committed to reducing the risk this happens again. If you can’t see a network, you can’t defend a network. And federal networks, cybersecurity need investment and more of an integrated approach to detect and block such threats.

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