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Updated: Jul 31

This is a fantastic article from Fast Company highlights the new realities of cybersecurity and makes a strong case for corporate cyber-response readiness. ​

What it was like inside Microsoft during the worst cyberattack in history

Microsoft president Brad Smith describes the chaos inside the tech giant during the SolarWinds hack.​

My takeaways from this great article are:

  • Hostile governments are investing in technology as a way to steal intellectual property from private businesses as well as the highest levels of the US government

  • Technology is transforming the form of hostility between nations, actors over the last 80 years have evolved from soldiers to spies to hackers.

  • Nation-state hackers are investing deeply in hacking strategies that enable extreme, global scale.

  • Characteristics of the hostile nation attack are; sophistication, persistence, and patience.

  • Hackers are piggybacking on software updates that come from a trusted partner, in this case, SolarWinds. As a result, their malware travels over trusted networks, and by leveraging the healthy habit of patching they are able to distribute their payload onto sensitive networks around the world in a matter of just a few days.

  • These threat actors are using US-based platforms such as GoDaddy and Amazon Web Services, as their command and control centers to avoid detection.

  • The two critical questions that need to be answered as quickly as possible after an attack are: How did the attacker gain entry, and what network credentials did the attacker obtain?

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