Cyber Security Bulletin: SolarWinds Supply-Chain Compromise

On 13 December, 2020 SolarWinds disclosed a security advisory outlining recent malicious activity impacting SolarWinds Orion Platform resulting from a supply chain compromise. The SolarWinds technology is used by many businesses to manage their network environments including mapping and capacity planning. This is a widespread campaign by a “highly evasive” actor gaining access to numerous public and private organizations around the world.

Through trojanizing SolarWinds Orion Platform software updates, actors were successfully able to distribute malware. This campaign may have begun as early as Spring 2020 and is reported as currently ongoing. Post compromise activity leverages multiple techniques to evade detection and obscure their activity, which includes lateral movement and data theft.

SolarWinds has provided guidance on how to identify the version of Orion Platform organizations are using and to check which hotfixes organizations have applied. If an organization cannot upgrade immediately, please follow the guidelines securing an Orion Platform instance.

An additional hotfix release, 2020.2.1 HF 2 is anticipated to be made available Tuesday, December 15, 2020. SolarWinds recommends that all customers update to release 2020.2.1 HF 2 once it is available, as the 2020.2.1 HF 2 release both replaces the compromised component and provides several additional security enhancements.

In addition to the fixes being posted by SolarWinds, the following recommendations are mitigation techniques that could be deployed as first steps to address the risk of trojanized SolarWinds software in an environment. SRG encourages organizations review the below recommendations and action those based on an organization’s own risk-based assessment:

  • Ensure that SolarWinds servers are isolated / contained until a further review and investigation is conducted. This should include blocking all Internet egress from SolarWinds servers.
  • If SolarWinds infrastructure is not isolated, consider taking the following steps:
    • Restrict scope of connectivity to endpoints from SolarWinds servers, especially those that would be considered Tier 0 / crown jewel assets
    • Restrict the scope of accounts that have local administrator privileged on SolarWinds servers.
    • Block Internet egress from servers or other endpoints with SolarWinds software.
  • Consider (at a minimum) changing passwords for accounts that have access to SolarWinds servers / infrastructure. Based upon further review / investigation, additional remediation measures may be required.
  • If SolarWinds is used to managed networking infrastructure, consider conducting a review of network device configurations for unexpected / unauthorized modifications. Note, this is a proactive measure due to the scope of SolarWinds functionality, not based on investigative findings.

If malicious activity is discovered in an environment, SRG recommends conducting a comprehensive investigation and designing and executing a remediation strategy driven by the investigative findings and details of the impacted environment.

Please reach out to us with your concerns or for more information on how to protect yourself and your business.