Russia’s perceived success with the SolarWinds hack did not end simply because US agencies and companies have intensified their defenses. Cnn Sources familiar with the investigation claim that Russia’s SVR intelligence agency “Sambhav” still has access to the US network, although it is trying for close exploits. A contact said the attackers were still “very out there”.
Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger did not directly admit the accusation Cnn Asked, but stated that formally blaming SVR meant “size” [Russia’s] Calculus “on the value of hacks. The US did not refuse Russia with a single action,” the advisor said.
A continued presence in the US network is consistent with history. Russia continued a series of cyber attacks against the US after the sanctions were imposed by the Obama administration in late 2016, targeting politicians and other systems in mid-2018 and beyond. Even if the US successfully removed Russia from government systems, there was a good chance that it would find another security hole.
If the report is accurate, however, it illustrates how difficult it can be to secure a permanent victory against a state-sponsored cyber attack. Even the massive backlash for a campaign like Solar Woods Hack was not enough to dissuade intruders. The US may not receive any reimbursement for a long, long time to come.
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