Hackers used US company SolarWinds’ Orion platform to target US government departments, about 100 private companies and small numbers of UK organisations. But nearly 18,000 customers had installed the malicious software. Asked if the SVR had been responsible, “These claims are like a bad detective novel,” he told BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg. Mr Naryshkin said he could not “claim the creative achievements of others as his own”. Mr Naryshkin then quoted from documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to suggest the tactics of the attack were similar to those used by US and British intelligence agencies.
“I don’t want to assert that this cyber-attack was carried out by a US agency – but the tactics are similar,” he said.
Russia’s spy chief is denying that his country is responsible for the cyberattack on IT group SolarWinds.Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the claims that his nation is behind the cyberattack resemble “a bad detective novel,” according to Reuters.
Last month, President Biden formally named the SVR as the culprit behind the cyberattack, which has become one of the largest cyber espionage attacks in U.S. history.
The software firm, used by hundreds of companies and top government agencies, was targeted by hackers who inserted malicious code into its systems. Any client who updated their software between March and June ended up with a backdoor into their system, which hackers could exploit. The FBI, NSA, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint January statement that the hack was likely intelligence-related when it pointed the finger at Russia.
“An Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor, likely Russian in origin, is responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks,” the agencies said.