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Microsoft President: SolarWinds hack biggest ever



Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith gives a speech at the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon on November 8, 2017. - Europe's largest technical event Web Summit will be held at the Parque das Nacoes in Lisbon from November 6 to November 9 (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP via Getty Images)

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith delivered a speech at the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon on November 8, 2017. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP via Getty Images)

TO Newsroom
UPDATED 14:30 PT – Monday, February 15, 2021

Microsoft’s president said the SolarWinds hack was the largest the world has ever seen. In an interview Sunday, Brad Smith said the malicious operation required more than 1,000 engineers.

The hackers allegedly broke the SolarWinds software and gave them access to various companies and government offices. The US government said that Russian criminals are the probable culprits and added the hack that was meant to collect data, instead of destroying it.

FILE - This August 4, 2009 archive photo shows the United States Chamber of Commerce building in Washington.  The White House says a senior national security official is leading the U.S. response to a massive breach of public departments and private companies discovered late last year.  The announcement that the deputy national security adviser for network and emergency technology, Anne Neuberger, has been responsible for the response to the SolarWinds hack follows the congress' criticism of the government's efforts as far as

FILE – This August 4, 2009 file shows the United States Chamber of Commerce building in Washington. The White House said a senior national security official was leading the U.S. response to a massive breach of public departments and private companies discovered late last year. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, File.)

Smith said that malware was installed through a company-wide update.

“I think from a software engineering perspective, I think it’s fair to say that this is the biggest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen,” Smith said. “When the update went out to 18,000 organizations worldwide, so did this malicious software.”

Cybersecurity experts are trying to determine the full extent of the attack and said it would be difficult to remove the infiltrators completely from the system.

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