Palo Alto Networks, a leading American multinational cybersecurity firm, has alleged that foreign attackers have hacked nine firms in the energy, defense, health care, tech, and education industries, at least one of which is in the USA.
With help from the National Security Agency, cybersecurity experts are disclosing an ongoing operation by these unidentified attackers to hack crucial data from US defense corporations as well as other confidential targets.
It is the kind of cyber-crime that both the Trump and Biden organizations have been working hard to uncover before it causes too much harm. The reason for making the material public is to alert other organizations that may be attacked and, in the interim, destroy the hackers' tools.
The threat is being tracked by representatives from the National Security Agency (NSA) as well as the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The Palo Alto Networks study included analysis from an NSA branch accountable for alleviating foreign cyber threats to the US defense industrial base.
Ryan Olson, a senior Palo Alto Networks executive firmly claimed that the hackers in this situation have breached passwords from a few targeted companies with an aim to maintain access to the said networks for the foreseeable future.
Olson further added that the nine reported organizations, represent the tip of the iceberg of the alleged surveillance campaign, and he supposes more hacking victims to emerge.
Although it is unknown who's behind the attack, Palo Alto Networks says a few of the attackers' ways and tools are similar to those employed by a supposed Chinese hacker group. However, both the NSA as well as CISA have not confirmed the hackers’ identity.
According to Palo Alto Networks, the hackers are targeting a loophole in software that organizations use to control their network passcodes. In September, CISA and the FBI advised businesses to upgrade their systems. Days later, the Palo Alto Networks-tracked hackers inspected over 370 computer systems using the software in the United States alone, and then began exploiting it.
Olson stated that organizations who utilize the Zoho software should upgrade their systems and look for evidence of a hack.