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Tuesday, 15 December 2020 07:15

SolarWinds quietly pulls customer page after news of global attack Featured

SolarWinds quietly pulls customer page after news of global attack Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

The company at the centre of the global intrusion detailed by security company FireEye on Monday AEDT — SolarWinds — has quietly taken down the page on its website which had a list of its elite customers.

But the company appears to have forgotten that any person with reasonable online skills can easily obtain the page from the Internet Archive aka The Wayback Machine.

Which is what security researcher Tal Be'ery did: he surfaced both pages in a tweet which tells its own story.

FireEye chief executive Kevin Mandia said in a blog post on Sunday (Monday AEDT) that the compromise of public and private sector bodies was executed through the Orion network monitoring product sold by SolarWinds.

The product has extremely wide usage, with about 400 of the so-called Fortune 500, and the top telcos, the US military, the US State Department, the NSA and the Office of the President of the US, all using the same NMS.

Until the day of this exposure, SolarWinds considered a listing of its customers a very good advertisement for its brand.


Now you see it... The SolarWinds customer page taken from the Internet Archive. Courtesy Tal Be'ery

That appears to have changed, judging from the two screenshots posted within this article, both courtesy Be'ery.

SolarWinds is not the first company that has resorted to such a tactic to reduce its exposure in a situation like this.


...and now you don't. The SolarWinds 404 page that comes up when anyone looks for the customer page. Courtesy: Tal Be'ery

When the WannaCry ransomware hit in May 2017, the global security firm Sophos quietly effected changes on a page on which it had proclaimed that it was defending Britain's National Health Service, with a banner reading: "The NHS is totally protected with Sophos."

That was quietly changed to "Sophos understands the security needs of the NHS", with the company apparently hoping that nobody would notice.

But it reckoned without eagle-eyed British security researcher Kevin Beaumont who surfaced both pages in a tweet so that world+dog would be aware of reality.

Sophos then made matters even worse, by trying to "clarify" things with iTWire. That did not go very well.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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