Headline, December 18 2020/ ''' '' HACKINGS EMBARRASSING HORRORS '' ''' : THE WORLD



FOR THE N.S.A. AND ITS DIRECTOR - GEN. PAUL M. NAKASONE, who also heads the. U.S. Cyber Command, the attack ranks among the biggest crisis of his time in office.

He famously declared in his confirmation hearing that the nation's cyberadversaries ''do not fear us'' and moved quickly to raise the cost for them, delving deep into foreign computers networks, mounting attacks on Russia's Internet Research Agency and sending warning shots across the bow of known Russian hackers.

WASHINGTON : All agencies race to assess damage from Russia hack. Tainted files downloaded by about 18,000 private and U.S. government users.

The scope of a hack engineered by one of Russia's premier intelligence agencies became clearer on Monday, when the Trump administration acknowledged that another federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security had been compromised.

Investigators were struggling to determine what parts of the military, intelligence community and nuclear laboratories were also vulnerable to the highly sophisticated attack.

United States officials did not detect the attack until recent weeks, and then only when a private cybersecurity firm, FireEye, alerted American intelligence officials that the hackers had evaded layers of defenses.

It was evident that the Treasury and Commerce Departments, the first agencies reported to be breached, were only part of a far larger operation, whose sophistication stunned even experts who have been following a quarter-century of Russian hacks on the Pentagon and American civilian agencies.

About 18,000 private and government users downloaded a Russian tainted software update - a Trojan horse of sorts - that gave its hackers a foothold into victims systems, according to Solar Winds, the company whose software was compromised.

Among those who use Solar Winds software are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department, the Justice Department, parts of the Pentagon and a number of utility companies.

While the presence of the software is not by itself evidence that each network was compromised and information was stolen, investigators spent Monday trying to understand the extent of the damage in what could be significant loss of American data to a foreign attacker.

The National Security Agency - the premier U.S. intelligence organization that both hacks into foreign networks and defends national security agencies from attacks - apparently did not know of the breach in the network-monitoring software made by SolarWinds until it was notified last week by FireEye. The N.S.A. itself uses Solar Winds software.

One of the most embarrassing breaches came at the Department of Homeland Security, whose Cybersecurity and infrastructure Security Agency oversaw the successful defense of the American election system last month.

A government official, who requested anonymity to speak about the investigation, made clear that the. Homeland Security Department, which is charged with securing civilian government agencies and the private sector, was itself the victim of the complex attack.

But the department, which often urges companies to come clean to their customers when their systems are subject to successful attacks, issued an obfuscating official statement that said only :

''The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the reports of breach. We are currently investigating the matter.''

In the near term, government agencies are now struggling to get to the bottom of a problem with limited visibility. By shutting down Solar Winds - a step they had to take to halt future intrusions - many agencies are losing visibility into their own networks.

''They are flying blind,'' said Ben Johnson, a former N.S.A. hacker who is now the chief technology officer of Obsidian, a security firm.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Intrusions, Hackings, and Cyberwarfare, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Alan Rappeport.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Technologists, Cyber Security specialists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. 

See Ya all. prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

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Good Night and God Bless

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