Hacking sufferer SolarWinds hires a former most cancers homeland safety officer as a guide
© Reuters. Senate Hearing to Investigate Suspected Irregularities in Washington 2020 Elections
By Joseph Menn
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Used by hackers as a stepping stone to the worst known US government computer breach in at least five years, the company has hired some of the biggest security companies to help with recovery.
SolarWinds Corp, whose backdoor versions of its network management software were distributed to thousands of customers, had previously engaged CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc to assess the intrusion and protect it in the future.
On Thursday, a new consulting firm was hired, founded by Chris Krebs, former head of the US agency for cybersecurity and infrastructure security, and Alex Stamos, former chief security officer of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ :).
Krebs served as the first chairman of CISA’s Homeland Security division and led national efforts to keep the 2020 elections safe from hacking and related misinformation. He was fired by President Donald Trump after continuing to claim that the election was not “rigged” but free from electronic harassment.
Trump has falsely claimed that the November 3rd election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden, was fraudulent.
Stamos, an associate professor at Stanford University, helped coordinate the broader efforts of academics and nonprofits to quickly dispel coordinated attempts to spread false election-related information. He was also one of the security consultants for a rapidly growing video conferencing company Zoom video communication (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc after a number of bugs were reported.
Krebs said he plans to fully dedicate himself to the new business, which will recommend security practices for multiple customers as well as combat coordinated misinformation.
“There have been successful executives who are committed to cybersecurity, but also to the community and commitment. They not only survive in this environment, but also thrive,” said Krebs in an interview. “We want to help leaders become these leaders. There is a process that we want to help organizations build.”
SolarWinds code was found in half a dozen federal agencies, which were then further exploited by hackers who US officials claimed worked for the Russian government, which this has denied.
Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Chief Executive of SolarWinds, who joined the company this week, said in a blog post that hiring experts was part of efforts to transform the company, which has been criticized for its poor security.
“We brought in the expertise of Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos to aid in this review and provide first-class guidance on our path to becoming an industry leader in secure software development,” a company spokesperson said via email.
Stamos said he wasn’t interested in a full-time job managing Biden and would rather work part-time with several companies that are either in crisis or hoping to get in better shape before one.
“These recent Russian attacks have spawned a new group of companies that are now realizing they need to play at a much higher level,” said Stamos.
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