From chaos to chaos, the US is experiencing perhaps the most trying moment in its history. All of the fears about the 2020 election have come to pass and now with the revelation that the SolarWinds platform has been hacked with an active infiltration for more than six months has essentially, all assumptions about security and the efficacy of the elections themselves should be thrown out.
SolarWinds is an Austin based company that develops software for a range of businesses to help manage their networks, systems, and information technology infrastructure. As of December 2020 it had about 300,000 global customers These include nearly all of the Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. SolarWinds says the hack affects more than 18,000 of its customers.
The SolarWinds hack has been rumored to be carried out by a Russian hacker group named APT29, aka Cozy Bear, whose team has now been actively in US system for months. To understand the level of danger the US is now in, the infiltrators also have access to the nuclear armaments, Lockheed Martin, and America’s energy infrastructure. What makes this hack different is that it is still active as the Malware allows the hackers to be in control of the “doorways” of the various systems.
To understand the level of danger the US is now in, the National Security Council called an emergency meeting on Saturday. The government has issued an order for all agencies to be on alert.
“I woke up in the middle of the night last night just sick to my stomach,” said Theresa Payton, who served as White House Chief Information Officer under President George W. Bush. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m at a 9 — and it’s not because of what I know; it’s because of what we still don’t know.“
Is It Really Russia?
While there is no denying that Russian hackers have been a constant threat to the US, it is well known that the Chinese and North Koreans have been just as persistent. The fact is, there is nothing stopping Cozy Bear from being outsourced to a third party like China.
Both Russia and China have overlapping interests in orchestrating this sort of attack. For Russia, confusion and disarray are valuable weapons in taking the US down. For China, their primary goal would have been to target the election and from there gain an understanding of the US Military capabilities and direction.
Dominion Voting Systems Used SolarWinds
The focus of the current news of the hack has been to understand the depths of infiltration and control the hackers now have on America’s financial, energy and military infrastructures. However, Dominion Voting Systems used SolarWinds as late as December, well after the elections. The company of course denies ever using SolarWinds, but as CodeMonkeyZ on Twitter shows, their platform as of December 14th proudly displayed a SolarWinds logo at the bottom. The logo has now been taken off.
Russia or China or both have now pushed America and much of the free world into a corner. The mask is off. US elections cannot be trusted. The populace is tearing itself apart, and there appears to be no one capable of bringing it together.
All of this is leading to President Trump needing to make big decisions regarding the election and any counter strike that is necessary against one or more adversarial state actors. Of course, if the hack is still ongoing, whose to say the US is even in control of their most sensitive military equipment.