The perpetrators of the SolarWinds hacks apparently targeted critical parts of the American legal system. According to the AP, the Justice Department says hackers targeted federal prosecutors between May 2020 and December 2020. There were 27 US Attorney offices where the intruders compromised at least one email account, officials said. The victims included some more prominent federal offices, including those in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and Miami, Los Angeles, and Washington.
The DOJ said it had alerted all victims and was taking steps to blunt the risks resulting from the hack. The Department previously said there was no evidence the SolarWinds hackers broke into classified systems, but federal attorneys frequently exchange sensitive case details.
The Biden administration has officially blamed Russia’s state-backed Cozy Bear group for the hacks and retaliated by expelling diplomats and sanctioning 32 “entities and individuals.” Russia has denied involvement.
It’s not sure if the US will escalate its response. The damage has already been done, after all. This further illustrates the severity of the attacks, however, and hints at the focus — they were clearly interested in legal data in addition to source code and other valuable information. All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.