Nine federal government agencies in the United States have been killed in a massive attack by Solar Winds software. Anne Newberger, a senior adviser to the National Security Council, said in a statement on Wednesday that she had no plans to retire.
In doing so, Newberger provides definitive information on the extent of the attack as far as is known. U.S. intelligence agencies said in January that less than a dozen U.S. government agencies had been successfully affected by the attack.
In December, the US government announced that it had been hacked. The attackers used Orion, a software from Solar Winds, to infiltrate ministries.
According to intelligence services, the perpetrator wanted to gather information on the attack, a lecturer consultant Newberger said Wednesday, mostly on purpose.
The vulnerable version of the Orion software was installed by eighteen thousand customers, according to Solar Winds, but Newberger notes a lower number on Wednesday: According to him, the rogue software was downloaded by eight thousand systems.
A small number of them would have actually been victims. In addition to the nine government agencies, the top adviser also spoke about a hundred private companies.
The numbers mentioned above vary: The New York Times He spoke about a total of 250 networks of governments and companies. The director of the victim’s cyber security company, Fire Eye, also mentioned the names of fifty victims.
Fingers point to Russia, but no serious accusation
U.S. intelligence and FBI police have previously said Russia was behind the attack. The Trump administration’s justice and foreign ministers also pointed to Russia.
White House National Security Council adviser Newberger said Wednesday that a player “probably of Russian descent” was behind the hacks. However, the US government has not made any serious allegations.
An investigation into the Solar Winds attack is still ongoing. According to Newberger, this could take months to complete.