What are the real-world implications or consequences of the Solarwinds hack?



I don’t really understand what its possible to do with the data that has been stolen. Are we talking about the ability to shut down the power grid or something, or just knowing how much some CEO makes and hides offshore? The news is so vague.

In: Technology

What happened is like finding out you can open any door locked by lifting up on the knob. Every locked door is locked for a different reason. Maybe it’s to keep you away from the powergrid “off” switch, maybe it’s to keep you from stuffing your pockets with the bank’s cash.

Intellectual property theft allows a foreign nation to steal the end results of research, solar winds for example has been a company since the ’90s and researching to get to where it is now. Stealing that information allows Russia to give one of their own companies this information to bypass the entire R&D phase as well as prevents Solarwinds from needing to get paid for the work they spent years investing in by many foreign markets sympathetic to Russia – such as China. Another great example that has had more time to play out, if you want to research, is the Sinovel Group Theft where China assisted a Chinese based group in stealing information about difficult to produce “Wavelength rectifiers” for wind turbines from a Wisconsin based development company.

Solarwinds monitors networks. As in, it has access to every computer on the network so it can send back information about those computers for monitoring purposes. If you own Solarwinds, you have a LOT of access to every computer on the network. You can steal technology, corporate strategy, get blackmail material, find holes in a company’s security operations. The military uses Solarwinds too. Although they wont get classified information (that’s another network not directly connected to the Internet), they can still get a lot that is sensitive.