That 60 Minutes’ Story

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If you watched the CBS News show, 60 Minutes, this past week, you may have seen a computer-related story. The segment was called “Inside The SolarWinds Hack.” (If you missed it, you can click on the title to view.)

The report covered how the Russians allegedly used Malware to infiltrate computers at the US Justice, State and Treasury departments. It’s estimated that they hacked over 18,000 government and private networks.

While the facts presented during the 60 Minutes report are certainly scary, you might be wondering if the hackers are out to get you. In truth, none of us sitting at home have SolarWinds software on our computers. The Orion product is supplied to network owners by SolarWinds. It provides centralized monitoring across an organization’s entire IT stack. For those of us who don’t have an enterprise network, we aren’t directly affected.

However, a company with which a great majority of us do interact, is a SolarWinds customer. Microsoft was one of the private companies infiltrated by the Orion hack. Microsoft and all of those owning networks which were targets of the attack are doing what they can to mitigate any damage which may have been done.

While this particular attack affected networks and not home users, it should remind us of a number of important things:

  • Keep your operating system up-to-date.
  • Keep your anti-virus/anti-malware current.
  • Don’t click on email attachments and links unless you are 100% sure they are legitimate.
  • Stay vigilant – if something seems “off” with how your computer is operating, have a legitimate company (like 4KCC) check it over.
  • Don’t allow strangers onto your computer.

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