SolarWinds: Russian Hackers Attack Covid19 Research Facilities

What hackers do: their motivations and their malware | CSO Online

Hackers traced to a Russian foreign intelligence service have capitalized on the infamous SolarWinds attack. The group recently launched cyber-espionage campaigns that target COVID-19 research facilities in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The recent cyber attack on the network management company SolarWind empowered hackers to compromise a plethora of US government agencies, and several other major corporations had revealed an alarming report. Businesses and government sectors are exposing each other to vast cyber-risks as they are interconnected. In short, they rely on the same software, which gives hackers a ‘one size fits all approach to their crimes.

The threat of cyber-attacks is far too advanced for the Government and conglomerates to tackle on their own. Intense collaboration is necessary to fight this war against criminal hackers.

In 2020 alone, cybersecurity complaints to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) more than tripled. In the first quarter of 2021, the average amount of victims of ransomware rose by 43%.

While governments have a wide-scale view of potential threats through Law Enforcement and Intelligence, they can only analyze the situation through a lens of national security – not the commercial risk. Companies have sector-specific threat information and can enjoy direct access to cybersecurity hackers that are certified and authentic. However, they remain exposed to overwhelming hacking attacks by state-sponsored attackers. Thus, rendering them incapable and, in the end, find it challenging to take an economy-wide iron-clad security approach.

What is needed is for both sides to pool resources into a solid defense. For example, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the FBI reported in 2020 that hackers would target healthcare and public health institutions to make ransomware demands and disrupt health services. These collaborations tend to be an exception to ward off future attacks; a solid approach cannot come too late.

A powerful, proactive effort from all sides can see more cyberattacks crushed before they even occur, just like the example above.

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently called for the Government and Private Sector to bond together in an organized fight against cyber-terrorists. Thus, this would strengthen their resources; rather than fighting individual cyberattacks on their own. Former National Security Administration official, Chris Inglis, has become the USA first national cyber director under President Joe Biden. Thus, the United States fight against hacking attacks should expect public-private collaboration as a key element for its cyber security strategy.