In the past couple of years, there has been a rise in cybercrimes due to technological advancements. Recent attacks include the SolarWinds supply solar winds assail, Carnival cruise lines raid, Sodinokibi attacks, Avon cyber-offensive, Ether heist, and the fake cryptocurrency scam on Twitter (Haworth, 2021). These sorties targeted individuals and corporations where individuals stole data, and some demanded ransom in exchange for not releasing the information. The SolarWinds cyber-raid is described as the most sophisticated and the most significant assault in the world (Reuters Staff, 2021). The criminal activity targeted SolarWinds, a technological company, and its customers. The attacks affected companies such as FireEye, Microsoft, and departments in the United States government. Hackers got into the SolarWinds system and infected it with malware intending to reach its 33,000 customers who use their product in managing IT systems and resources (Reuters Staff, 2021). The illegal activity leads to a significant loss of valuable items.
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Software companies issue updates regularly to enhance the systems operation, vulnerabilities and improve security. SolarWinds got hacked at the start of 2020, with hackers finding a backdoor in their system and infecting it with malicious malware. SolarWinds released the software updates in 2020 and supplied these updates to its customers with the malicious code embedded (Jibilian, 2021). These malicious codes opened backdoors to their systems and allowed hackers to access information and install more malware to spy on the organizations. The update was installed by over 18,000 customers, making them vulnerable to attacks (Jibilian, 2021). The customers included government departments such as the Pentagon, Homeland security, and the Treasury. Fortune 500 companies and technology companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Deloitte were also involved (Haworth, 2021). The investigating agencies in the United States blame the Russian government for the hack but deny any hack involvement. It is not the first time the US has held Russia responsible for a hack in their systems. During the 2016 campaigns and presidential polls, Russia was answerable for tempering with the emails belonging to the presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and directed towards the White House. Investigations are ongoing to understand the full extent of the hack and the damages caused.
Cyber-attacks have adverse consequences to the organizations and individuals affected. These consequences include loss of information, money, and significant resources securing the affected systems (Peisert et al., 2021). The hack on SolarWind enabled the individuals to destroy the data accessed or alter it to suit their needs. Changing data could allow the hackers to impersonate individuals, leading to damage as they can conduct activities such as bank withdraws or authorizations for some actions (Lekha & Prakasam, 2017). Fixing the SolarWind and their customer systems and restoring security will take years. The fixing process will take significant resources to find bugs and security loopholes. The vulnerabilities in SolarWind and its customers, such as Microsoft can lead to the loss of millions to billions of money due to lack of information or payment to individuals affected by the hack. There is no official figure of how much money has been lost or a projection of how much will be lost before the hack is solved. The projection of losses to cybercrime in the world increased to one trillion dollars last year (Peisert et al., 2021).
According to these statistics, the money that will be lost because of the SolarWind hack will be significant because of the number of companies involved and their market influence in the world.
SolarWind affected organizations, and the government is taking steps to secure their systems and educate the public on protecting themselves against cybercrime. The government is conducting inquiries with the help of SolarWind and FireEye to ascertain the extent of damage done by the hack. The House of Representatives has questioned the involvement of the Russian government in their involvement and sought clarification on the matter. The Russian government has denied any involvement in the matter (Reuters Staff, 2021). The government has partnered with the companies involved to pull resources in determining the source of the hack to apprehend parties involved. Microsoft has tasked over a thousand engineers to figure out the extent of damage in their system, find the number of customers affected, and solve any vulnerabilities present to secure their system (Reuters Staff, 2021). Solving this crime will be the start for the affected organizations and the government is trying to restore safety and privacy in cyberspace.
In conclusion, cybercrime is a global issue on the rise due to continued technological development and increased Internet use by individuals and organizations. There has been a chain of attacks on organizations in the United States, and the most recent cyber-hack is against SolarWinds. The SolarWinds raid included an assail on the company’s software, which affected thousands of its customers. This attack has made these systems vulnerable to the loss and alteration of data. This cyber-attack affected companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and some departments of the US government. Such attacks are adverse in using resources to fix these vulnerabilities. The government and other organizations have partnered to solve and prevent these cyberattacks from happening. Microsoft has invested a thousand of its engineers in solving the hack, and the government has targeted response from Russia, whom they suspect to be the mastermind of the SolarWind hack.
Haworth, J. (2021). Mimecast confirms hackers behind SOLARWINDS supply Chain attack accessed limited amount of customer information. The Daily Swig. Web.
Jibilian, I. (2021). Here’s a simple explanation of how the Massive SolarWinds hack happened and why it’s such a big deal. Insider. Web.
Lekha, K. C., & Prakasam, S. (2017). Data mining techniques in detecting and predicting cyber crimes in banking sector. In 2017 International Conference on Energy, Communication, Data Analytics and Soft Computing (ICECDS) (pp. 1639-1643). IEEE.
Peisert, S., Schneier, B., Okhravi, H., Massacci, F., Benzel, T., Landwehr, C., Mannan, M., Mirkovic, J., Prakash, A., & Michael, J. B. (2021). Perspectives on the SolarWinds incident. IEEE Security & Privacy, 19(02), 7-13.
Reuters Staff. (2021). SolarWinds hack was ‘largest and most Sophisticated Attack’ ever: Microsoft president. Reuters. Web.