back to article SolarWinds: Hey, only as many as 18,000 customers installed backdoored software linked to US govt hacks

As the debris from the explosive SolarWinds hack continues to fly, it has been a busy 48 hours as everyone scrambles to find out if, like various US government bodies, they've been caught in the blast. So, where are we at? In terms of the news flow, it started in the middle of last week with FireEye. The specialist IT security …

Page:

  1. IceC0ld

    There's a 'theory' going round that it wasn't much of a hack to the US Govt Dept's if tRump sold his passwords to Putin ..................

    I would suggest that every major player is busy doing this hack thing at the moment, it is just that we / the 'good' guys don't share THAT piece of information out to the word, and that everything we catch, is stored for useage when useful

    I doubt if the Russians / Chinese / Norks/ add state player of choice here, would advertise their abilities either, it is just that our side has caught them, and is either trying to avert blame away themselves for allowing it to occur, or trying to place blame by saying "look what we are up against, we need more funding"

    the world got to be very strange the moment IT took centre stage, I mean, before I take the bike out for a spin, I have to charge my hat up, and if that isn't weird enough, maybe I haven't been here long enough yet :o)

    1. msknight Silver badge

      The one thing I'm not hearing about, are the Rusks/Norks/Chinese/insert, "enemy actor" here getting their government information stolen by the EU/US/UK.

      Are we not doing it? Are the "enemy actors" too embarrassed to admit when they've found us hacking them? Or are we just not getting caught?

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        https://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/china-accuses-us-of-hacking-109171/amp

      2. Naselus

        "Are we not doing it? Are the "enemy actors" too embarrassed to admit when they've found us hacking them? Or are we just not getting caught?"

        We are doing it, we are getting caught, and we're not bothering to report it because obviously when we do it it's Our Brave Boys Foiling Putin's Dastardly Schemes and when they do it it's Evil Johnny Foreigner Bent on World Domination.

        1. Chinashaw

          Much like it is in Russia, China etc. All sides will present themselves in the best possible light. However and let's be clear here, the Chinese side has concentration camps, death camps and forced labour camps with well over a million people locked away in them. Russia has slightly fewer but a tendency to murder dissidents. While everyone does spy on each other, it is safe to say that the Russian/Chinese side is certainly not even close to being on the side of the angels.

          This is an article about an incredibly successful and dangerous hack that will have global ramifications.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            True. The US only has Guantánamo.

            (Plus an undisclosed number of locations around the world, plus cooperative "partners" in various "less developed" jurisdictions)

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              The US only has Guantánamo.

              Um... ICE and CBP would like to remind you that they're running a whole bunch of concentration camps, thankyouverymuch. Separating children from their parents at scale isn't easy, you know.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                "Separating children from their parents at scale isn't easy, you know."

                If you commit a crime and have kids, don't expect they'll be put in the same cell you are.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Trump still uses his personal cell phone

      As of December 2019, Trump was still using his personal cell phone to make sensitive official business calls. So you can pretty much count on the Russians, Chinese, Norks, Iranians, & "world + dog" to have access to anything that passes through that phone in any form.

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/06/politics/donald-trump-secure-phone-calls-impeachment/index.html

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I, for one, cannot fucking wait until Bunglito Wussolini is out of office and we can never hear his goddamn name again nor hear the batshit conspiracy theories from all angles of the political environment.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    36 days left

    You wonder what Putin/Trump can cook up for the remaining 36 days.

    Maybe nukes in Syria threatening the middle east. That would make sense of Trump's recent cancelling of the 'Open Skies' treaty, and the earlier 'Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces' treaty. Putin has recently affirmed he'll use nukes if they're attacked by conventional forces, obviously rhetoric, but intended to secure any region he captures with threat of nuclear war. Trump tried to withdraw from Iraq and Afganistan urgently before Jan 15th, leaving only hostage levels of troops. That would then have allowed Putin to invade Iraq and secure the region with nukes, and secure US hostages.

    Maybe Trump's "declassify everything": Portray it as an attack on Biden, while actually laying down smoke for a widespread handing over of secrets to Putin. I note he's put a QAnon joker in the Pentagon intelligence unit and a man connected to the Nunes/Russian backchannel in NSA, both shortly after losing the election.

    If you're one of the two QAnon nutters, put in place by Trump, in a job you know you shouldn't be in. Realize that 8kun.net (8Chan) the website largely feeding you your qanon nutjobbery, was hosted by vdsina in Russia, and many other Russian hosts during its life.

    Go ahead, order some hosting from them, you'll need Google translate unless your Russian:

    https://webiplookup.com/62.113.119.159/

    https://vdsina.ru/

    36 days left, I suggest you keep detail records, and keep your nose clean, so you can say, "I did my duty to the USA". If Trump blames you for his crimes, you have your detailed records of every interaction with him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 36 days left

      Iraq! Damn. Now it's so clear that it's exactly what Putin wants! And Trump and Bibi are so obviously working for him! How didn't I see it earlier...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 36 days left

        Syria! Damn. Now its so clear exactly what Putin wants! And I suppose Trump will withdraw troops first discussing it with Putin before the Pentagon. Those troops will flee as Putin grabs those US bases. How didn't I see it earlier....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 36 days left

      You do know Trump is the only president since Carter not to drum up a full scale war somewhere right?

      He's been very passive when it comes to conficts, hence his 3 nominations for a nobel peace prize...

      Now I cannot stand him but I've a feeling the next 4 years will be very different in terms of conflict, Biden loves a scrap.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 36 days left

        Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

          As a full scale war?

          No, it doesn't.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

            It was an act of war - as defined by International Treaty. The fact the Iranians didn't bite is no vindication of Trump.

            1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

              Re: Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

              Do I need to post the list of attacks that Iran has perpetrated against US interests for the last 40 years? They have pursued a dirty war this entire time. We held accountable the one man most responsible for carrying them out.

              A most restrained response, all in all.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

                All of that is just revenge for 1958 when the CIA overthrew a democratic elected Iranian government then put the shah in power and kept him there for 20 years odd.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Doesn't the murder of a top Iranian politician count?

                The subject is about Trump starting wars. What he did was an act of war, and could have potentially started one.

                You seem to think that I'm an Iran apologist. I'm not.

                Iran's history with America over the last 40 years is irrelevant to the subject in hand.

        2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: 36 days left

          The "top Iranian politician" was in fact the head of Iran's terror operations. It was literally his job to plan and direct them. As I said at the time, any legal basis for President Trump to have ordered the killing was tenuous at best. However, the moral basis for Donal Trump, like any decent human being, to have stopped such a man by any means available was exceptionally strong.

          One 3-star general stated that one of the duties of a commander is "force protection", and that this action clearly fell in that territory.

          Note also that even President Trump's most ardent supporters planned for him to leave office in Jan 2025. The protection that ex-presidents have is FAR less than the current one (and justifiably so). We have no reason to believe that the Iranian regime's response to this matter has been completed. I expect that the decision to order the mission was taken with this in mind.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 36 days left

            > " As I said at the time, any legal basis for President Trump to have ordered the killing was tenuous at best. However, the moral basis for Donal Trump, like any decent human being, to have stopped such a man by any means available was exceptionally strong."

            I never said he was a decent chap, I said that killing him was an act of war under international law.

            As you admit the legal reasons were tenuous, you basically agree with me, so your rebuke is puzzling.

            1. Jaybus

              Re: 36 days left

              The Iran-backed attack on the US embassy in Baghdad on 31 Dec 2019 was also an act of war under international law. Your point?

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: 36 days left

            >and that this action clearly fell in that territory.

            You might recall that the Iranians sent a bunch of missiles back in retaliation. These were very precisely targeted, essentially destroying our drone facilities and bracketing a 'consulate', sending an unequivocal message.

            We've been remarkably quiet about what they hit -- "hangars", "workshops" -- but I think it served as a warning that they have the capability to hit anything they please in hte area so maybe everyone should just place nice and try to get on.

            As for the "terrorism/40 years" thing the US has committed numerous outrages against the Iranians, not just the Vincennes incident. We've been at war with this counry since 1979 and its getting a bit tiresome constantly hearing how our brave boys are defending freedom when they quite patently are not. (....and while we're on the subject of freedom and stuff anyone recall someone called "Julian Assange" and wonder what ha[ppened to him?)

        3. Jaybus

          Re: 36 days left

          No. It was a very limited retaliation for the attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad carried out by Iran-ibacked militia.

      2. eric halfabe

        Re: 36 days left

        I upvoted you for the first bit but Trump will be sworn in in January

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 36 days left

          Do they swear people into jail then?

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: 36 days left

          Wow there are still people this disconnected from reality? I guess you must be assuming Trump will stage a military coup, because that's the only thing that could stop Biden/Harris from being sworn in next month now that the electoral college vote is official.

          You do realize Trump is only perpetrating this deception so he can send suckers you like emails every day begging for money. Maybe you should read the fine print, and see how little of it goes to the "overturn the election" effort. Most of it is going into Trump's PAC, which is money in his pocket he can use for personal expenses and funnel into his money losing businesses to keep them afloat. You're giving your hard earned money to support a rich guy's lifestyle. Maybe you're OK with that, but everyone else is laughing at you MAGAs now!

          1. eric halfabe

            Re: 36 days left

            It appears it is you that is disconnected from reality. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about me and Trump. Trump has many routes left.

            There are still cases going on in the states and supreme court that can't be dodged like they have so far.

            The republican legislature have forwarded dual voters to the electoral college. I think it is Pence who decides which of the dual voters will vote.

            If the court rules to decertify the results of the election in the 6 or so states in question or even 3 then it goes to a vote in the house. Republicans have a majority of states in the house.

            I guess he could invoke the insurrection act to put down this coup but he is a long way from that yet.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 36 days left

              How about this summary of you:

              You are English. You live in England.

              You don't know anything about the court system in America, or its governmental legal process generally. That's fair enough, but curiously, you are pretending you do know what you're talking about, and think that parrotting bogus right wing taking points will convince us.

              1. eric halfabe

                Re: 36 days left

                You did a little better than DS999 as far as location goes but that is about it.

                I came across this this morning

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkTyJ3igf1Y

                a short video that explains what i said far better than i could.

            2. cmdrklarg

              Re: 36 days left

              No, Trump has no legal path to victory. The Electoral College has voted and Biden won that 306-232 (as expected). January 6th, 2021 is the next step, where Congress officially counts the votes.

              There is a process where one Representative and one Senator can object to a state's EC votes. Once that occurs, both the House and the Senate vote on whether the objections are valid. For the objection to be valid both the House and Senate must agree.

              The Democrats control the House, so any attempt to object to any Biden votes will be summarily dismissed. Mitch McConnell has already indicated that it won't fly in the Senate either.

              Pence's role in the count is purely ceremonial. There is nothing he can do to change anything in the count.

              1. eric halfabe

                Re: 36 days left

                "No, Trump has no legal path to victory" You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

            3. DS999 Silver badge

              @eric halfabe

              Sorry, Pence doesn't get to decide "which electors" to support. If there's an objection to a state's slate of electors it requires a majority vote in both the house and senate. Never could happen with a democratic majority in the house, but even Moscow Mitch went on the record yesterday telling senators "its over" and warning senate republicans not to support efforts in the house to object (the objection itself requires only one from the house and one from the senate)

              The court cases are being led by the most incompetent team of lawyers ever, who are 0-56 so far in their court cases. The fact you think they still have cases that have a shot is evidence you must get your news from a source that's to the right of batshit insane, like Newsmax.

              Trump has no routes left, and never had any in the first place. The fact you are so deluded you believe his claims is a pitiful indictment of how gullible his cult members are, and how deep into the right wing media bubble you are.

              1. eric halfabe

                Re: @eric halfabe

                What do you watch CNN?

                The Trump team have only brought 5 or 6 cases to court. None of the evidence has been heard in court. The cases have been dismissed with some procedural punt. One goes like this: You can't bring a case before the election because no crime has yet been committed. You can't bring a case after the election because Laches (you should have spoken up sooner).

                The Texas case was dismissed because of Standing. A lot of legal experts think that was wrong. However a similar case has been brought by 4 states where they obviously do have standing so we will see.

                It is clear to me the election was stolen. The Dominion machines are not fit for purpose and are totally insecure. Admin passwords often taped to the front of tabulators allowing poll workers access to the file system. They use SolarWinds software and as per this article it is insecure.

                In the Antrim county examination it was found that the sensitivity of the scanners was set so high that 68% of ballots failed the scan and were sent to an adjudication folder (maximum error rate for certification 0.0006%). The ballots in that folder are supposed to be checked and allocated to the candidate depending on 'voter intent'. This procedure was not followed and 8000 votes went to Biden instead of Trump in a county that only has 16000 voters. The same level was found in an Arizona county i think where there are 2.5 million voters. A full forensic examination is now being carried out.

                If you haven't heard any of this then maybe it is you that is in a bubble.

                As an American (i assume) you should be demanding true and fair elections. As a software guy (i assume) you should be demanding that these garbage machines be scrapped and replaced with something that is not so prone to errors and open to manipulation by so many bad actors.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 36 days left

        > You do know Trump is the only president since Carter not to drum up a full scale war somewhere right?

        That's a good observation. I hazard a guess that high-ranking professional politicians all have established ties with the military industrial complex, whereas this guy didn't.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: 36 days left

          On the other hand, Trump didn't need to start another war; we have plenty already.

          More importantly, Trump was never interested in policy. He's interested in the adulation of crowds and ego-stroking by his handlers. Those crowds are currently more focused on domestic shibboleths (directing their hatred at anyone in the country who doesn't share their beliefs) than foreign adventures at the moment, and the people those handlers represent are less concerned with short-term profiteering than with instituting a Buchananite plutocratic state.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: 36 days left

          Yes, that's the one thing I give Trump credit for, but that's mostly because his attention span is far too short to start a war anywhere but Twitter.

          If he believed for one second that starting a war would have helped get him re-elected, he would have been asking his aides "who do I bomb?"

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 36 days left

        >>Now I cannot stand him but...

        Right, I won't be sorry to see him go "at all" but... I'm not convinced he's been THAT much worse than some of our other leaders.

        I wonder how people would have reacted if he'd just put on a more civil face, been less "noisy"?

        I really wish I could live another 50 years and read about him with some historical perspective.

        I'm too old now, will never know.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 36 days left

          Who cares about him being noisy.

          It was the fact that everything he does is for his own benefit. He has gladly and intentionally divided the country, and is now trying to abolish democracy.

          A constant liar, narcissistic sociopath. Literally mentally ill.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: 36 days left

            In other words, he's Nixon, minus the intelligence, education, policy interests, and occasional bouts of sympathy for the victims of injustice. Nixon was by no means a good person - megalomaniacal, vindictive, prejudiced, and so forth - but he did some good things1 for the country (rapprochement with China) in general and for certain groups (returning Blue Lake and other changes to "Indian policy").

            I don't see any evidence that's Trump has ever been interested in anything that doesn't benefit him personally or get him psychological rewards from his followers or handlers. I'd say that from any reasonable, historically-informed perspective he's the worst president (by whatever combination of policy, character, or any other sensible metrics) at least since McKinley, and is definitely in the running for worst of all time. (Harrison at least had the good grace to die without doing any real damage.)

            I'm certainly no fan of, say, George W. Bush; but he was President during a difficult time (9/11 and then the beginning of the global liquidity crisis) and on numerous occasions he showed real concern for the nation. I don't think Trump gives a shit about America.

            1Among plenty of bad, of course. Continuing to prosecute, and escalate, the war in Vietnam and Cambodia; attempts to suppress anti-war protesting; COINTELPRO and other attempts to combat the civil rights movements; and so on.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: 36 days left

              No, he's much more dangerous than Nixon. Nixon was out for himself, and a lot smoother than Trump, but he believed in democracy and the constitution.

              Biden's administration will have to work with congress to plug up some of the holes Trump exposed in our systems. I'd start by making appointments to the DOJ and FBI be one way (i.e. can't be fired by a president, only removed by impeachment) and require a 2/3 majority to confirm. The DOJ needs to be independent, not have a yes man like Bill Barr who protects the president's friends.

              I also hope the rumors are true that Trump will try to force his DOJ to appoint a special counsel to look into election fraud before he leaves so the investigation continues inside Biden's DOJ. Trump is self-deluded enough he actually believes there was fraud, just like he claimed in 2017 because he was butt hurt over losing the popular vote to Hillary (when he created an "election commission" to investigate those "millions of votes" worth of fraud, which quietly disbanded after a couple years having found zilch)

              Having a special counsel Trump put in place turn up nothing once again (but much more publicly this time) may be the only way all his cultists whose minds he's poisoned might ever accept there was no widespread fraud that stole the election from Trump and it is all a fantasy from a self deluded child who was so emotionally damaged by his father he is incapable of admitting he lost at anything.

      5. J__M__M

        Re: 36 days left

        Who's he going to pick a fight with? Dictators and despots are his friends.

    3. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

      Re: 36 days left

      Of course Russia will use nukes if attacked by conventional forces, their conventional capability is only slightly better than Iraq during both Gulf Wars. And Iraq was defeated in 3 weeks during the Second Gulf War and 3 months in the First Gulf War (3 weeks if you only count only the ground campaign).

      But has Trump uncovered any information on aliens being held hostage by the U.S. Government?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: 36 days left is long enough to leave an Indelible Mark and Blots on a Diseased Landscape

        But has Trump uncovered any information on aliens being held hostage by the U.S. Government? ..... StrangerHereMyself

        If anyone here uncovers information, or hears from any of those ubiquitous anonymous official sources which abound and infest and invest and fester in media, that governments are being deeply captivated by alien technologies with out of this world methodologies and engagingly attractive addictive tautologies, please let El Reg and El Regers know.

        You can be guaranteed that they will certainly thoroughly appreciate the effort and meticulously forensically examine the information for any leading signs of ill-tampering foul play.

        Are you yourself a stranger to/in those fields, StrangerHereMyself?

        :-) Whenever one knows how much can happen and how bigly things can change in one 24 hour period for the likes of Jack Bauer/Kiefer Sutherland types, can you imagine the havoc and bedlam that can be arranged and arraigned in 36 days and left in place both in and from an infinitely more sophisticated space ‽ . ...... if you believe in such strange things, that is ..... and that are possible and eminently doable, and as Lady Luck would have it, not necessarily having to be enabled by humans themselves with their own primitive SCADA Systems versions in Sub-Prime Applications for Exclusive Elite Executive Administrations that Seek to Command Intelligence Controls and Control with Crazy Commands and Insane Demands being nowhere near able and up to the task?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: 36 days left is long enough to leave an Indelible Mark and Blots on a Diseased Landscape

          Here's some more fine classic food for further future thought on all of the above ....... https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/big-brother-disguise-rise-new-technological-world-order

          Do yourself a favour and at least read it. To comprehend it will assist you greatly.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 36 days left - meddling kids

      " Trump tried to withdraw from Iraq and Afganistan urgently before Jan 15th, leaving only hostage levels of troops. That would then have allowed Putin to invade Iraq and secure the region with nukes, and secure US hostages."

      *mask whipped off*

      And he'd have gotten away with it too but for those meddling kids!

      Nice tinfoil rant though, its made me laugh. I always enjoy the Scooby Doo ending.

  3. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

    Nasty nasty

    But was always a matter of time, always said I can't guarantee we won't be hacked and anyone who does knows their lying or is incompetent. Best to be honest and prepare for the worst.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nasty nasty

      A matter of time indeed...

      "... it is no longer linked-to."

      Cool, because the link to the infected file probably isn't everywhere anywhere.

      I might be paranoid, but I usually set filters on security related files on web servers. I mean "download whatever you want on my infected machine" isn't generally what you want (unless it is... I dunno).

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Nasty nasty

      But was always a matter of time, always said I can't guarantee we won't be hacked and anyone who does knows their lying or is incompetent. Best to be honest and prepare for the worst. ..... don't you hate it when you lose your account

      Somebody/Something at some time must have equated bad hacks with good cracks and best to make great use of them both to result in something else altogether somewhat completely different and addictively engaging ........ absolutely attractively almightily captivating.

      I suppose the big money question is whether you can accept or deny the hellish temptations of such heavenly delights ...... or whether they pass by you and leave you either floundering or basking in their wakes and Private NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Pirate Shenanigans. ..... Exploring in/on and Experimenting on/in SMARTR Future Courses?

      Find a Better Advanced IntelAIgent Driver Beta than that and you'll have no problem finding camp followers and glorious disciples and empowering angels to boot and master root reboot and re-route. All one needs do is provide the AIMaster Plan with Available Road Maps ....... Displaying Simple Instructions and Directions to Follow to where one be going to or back all the ways to where one be from?

      Either way, IT's one heck of a trip to jump into and onto, and one helluva cracking hack to ensure assures and insures all that it is always for general great use and never ever possible and easily made available for wanton misuse and wilful abuse. Not so much a mighty task as a magnificent calling ...... absolute pleasure to treasure and savour and flavour and devour ie Greatly Enjoy.

      Are there many vital virile vapid markets for those around any parts of the worlds you be spending/sharing your lives in? Does that project one into Global Operating Device territories?

      You ever spend any quality free time in those zones? Ever experienced the powerful rushes that beautifully floor the totally unexpected and unsuspecting? :-)

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021