The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of compromises of U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and private sector organizations and issued an alert. CISA said that it is aware of active exploitation of a vulnerability in versions of the SolarWinds Orion Platform software, and the agency expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations.
CISA, which falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is encouraging affected organizations to read advisories from SolarWinds (https://www.solarwinds.com/securityadvisory) and FireEye (https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2020/12/evasive-attacker-leverages-solarwinds-supply-chain-compromises-with-sunburst-backdoor.html) for more information. FireEye is a cybersecurity firm.
In its security advisory, SolarWinds said it was made aware that its systems “experienced a highly sophisticated, manual supply chain attack” on SolarWinds Orion Platform software builds. In the security advisory, SolarWinds offers several steps for parties to take related to use of the SolarWinds Orion Platform.
Meanwhile, DHS on Dec. 13 said that the relevant SolarWinds Orion products are currently being exploited by malicious actors. This tactic permits an attacker to gain access to network traffic management systems, DHS said. Disconnecting affected devices is the only known mitigation measure currently available, it said.
“CISA understands that the vendor is working to provide updated software patches. However, agencies must wait until CISA provides further guidance before using any forthcoming patches to reinstall the SolarWinds Orion software in their enterprise,” DHS said.
Utilities using the SolarWinds Orion platform software should follow the guidance from CISA as additional information becomes available. More information is available from CISA at: https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-352a