SolarWinds Hack: Officials Reveal NSA Knew of Zero-Day Vulnerability Prior to Cyber Attack

Originally posted on January 27, 2023 @ 12:49 pm

The SolarWinds Orion software hack, also known as the “Sunburst” hack, is a cybersecurity incident that was discovered in December 2020. The hack affected thousands of organizations, including government agencies and private companies, by compromising their network management software. The hack is believed to have been carried out by a Russian state-sponsored hacking group known as APT29, also known as “Cozy Bear” or “The Dukes”.

The hack was first discovered by the cybersecurity firm FireEye, which had been hacked itself in a separate incident. FireEye discovered that the hackers had gained access to its network through a supply chain attack, in which the hackers had implanted malicious code into the Orion software updates of SolarWinds, a company that provides network management software to a wide range of organizations.

The malicious code, known as “SUNBURST,” gave the hackers the ability to gain access to the networks of organizations that had installed the compromised updates. Once inside, the hackers were able to move laterally through the network, stealing sensitive information and potentially planting additional malware.

The US government has officially attributed the hack to Russian state-sponsored hacking group APT29, and it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) was aware of the vulnerability in the SolarWinds Orion software, known as a “zero-day vulnerability,” prior to the hack. This has led to criticism of the NSA for not warning SolarWinds and its customers about the vulnerability sooner.

The SolarWinds Orion hack has had far-reaching consequences, with many organizations still struggling to assess the extent of the damage and clean up the malware. The incident highlights the growing threat of supply chain attacks, in which hackers target third-party vendors in order to gain access to the networks of their customers. It also highlights the need for organizations to have effective cybersecurity measures in place, and for government agencies to work more closely with the private sector to share information about potential vulnerabilities and threats.

Overall, the SolarWinds hack was a major cyber attack with far-reaching consequences and it exposed the gap in cybersecurity measures for both private and government organizations. It also revealed that the zero-day vulnerability was known to NSA prior to the hack, which raises questions about the agency’s role in protecting the country from cyber threats and its responsibility in informing the public and private sectors about vulnerabilities in the software they use.


Parag Banerjee is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer. He has a wide knowledge of Google Updates, Analytics, and many others. He studied Computer Application from Techno India.

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