About 18,000 organizations around the world downloaded network management tools that contained a backdoor that a nation state used to install malware in organizations the used the software, the tools provider, SolarWinds, said on Monday.
The disclosure from Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds, came a day after the US government revealed a major security breach hitting federal agencies and private companies. The US Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security departments were among the federal agencies on the receiving end of hacks that gave access to email and other sensitive resources, Reuters reported. Federal agencies using the software were instructed on Sunday to disconnect systems that run the software and perform a forensic analysis of their networks.
Security firm FireEye, which last week disclosed a serious breach of its own network, said that hackers backed by a nation-state compromised a SolarWinds software update mechanism and then used it to infect selected customers who installed a backdoored version of the company’s Orion network management tool.