Autodesk was one of the 18,000 firms breached in SolarWinds attack, firm admits

Door was opened but nobody stepped inside, luckily


Autodesk, makers of computer-aided design (CAD) software for manufacturing, has told the US stock market it was targeted as part of the the supply chain attack on SolarWinds' Orion software.

In a filing with the American Stock Exchange Commission, Autodesk said it had identified a compromised server in the wake of public reporting of the SolarWinds breach.

According to the US and UK governments, the attack saw spies from Russia's SVR agency (the equivalent of Britain's MI6) compromise systems used to compile new builds of network monitoring software Orion.

While Autodesk went on to say that it found no further disruption on its systems, its mention of the breach in its latest quarterly results reminds the world just how far-reaching the SolarWinds supply chain compromise was. Around 18,000 of its customers were affected, though the malware gang only infiltrated the most important users of Orion – including FireEye.

In its Form 10-Q for Q2 2021, for the quarter ended 31 July, Autodesk said:

We identified a compromised SolarWinds server and promptly took steps to contain and remediate the incidents. While we believe that no customer operations or Autodesk products were disrupted as a result of this attack, other, similar attacks could have a significant negative impact on our systems and operations.

We have asked Autodesk for further comment.

The aftermath of the SolarWinds incident saw the UK and America team up to attribute it to the SVR, confirming widely held suspicions that the compromise was carried out by an exceptionally patient state-backed threat actor.

Although the SVR's infiltration of SolarWinds' build systems saw it gain access to 18,000 of the firm's Orion customers, further exploitation of that initial access was very limited in order not to blow the operation. Although initial access to the Orion build server was gained in September 2019, it wasn't removed until June 2020 – and that removal was done by miscreants itself, four months after the Sunburst malware was deployed through Orion.

A lawsuit was launched against SolarWinds by shareholders saying it failed to prevent the breaches and misled investors about security precautions taken beforehand, to which the company said, perhaps not untruthfully, that it was "the victim of the most sophisticated cyberattack in history".

On the flip side, although the firm has said it believes the password was not linked to the Russian attack nor closely linked to its production systems, an infosec researcher noticed that the company's password for a publicly accessible upload server was "solarwinds123", as allegedly published on GitHub. ®


Other stories you might like

  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading
  • Cloud security unicorn cuts 20% of staff after raising $1.3b
    Time to play blame bingo: Markets? Profits? Too much growth? Russia? Space aliens?

    Cloud security company Lacework has laid off 20 percent of its employees, just months after two record-breaking funding rounds pushed its valuation to $8.3 billion.

    A spokesperson wouldn't confirm the total number of employees affected, though told The Register that the "widely speculated number on Twitter is a significant overestimate."

    The company, as of March, counted more than 1,000 employees, which would push the jobs lost above 200. And the widely reported number on Twitter is about 300 employees. The biz, based in Silicon Valley, was founded in 2015.

    Continue reading
  • Talos names eight deadly sins in widely used industrial software
    Entire swaths of gear relies on vulnerability-laden Open Automation Software (OAS)

    A researcher at Cisco's Talos threat intelligence team found eight vulnerabilities in the Open Automation Software (OAS) platform that, if exploited, could enable a bad actor to access a device and run code on a targeted system.

    The OAS platform is widely used by a range of industrial enterprises, essentially facilitating the transfer of data within an IT environment between hardware and software and playing a central role in organizations' industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) efforts. It touches a range of devices, including PLCs and OPCs and IoT devices, as well as custom applications and APIs, databases and edge systems.

    Companies like Volvo, General Dynamics, JBT Aerotech and wind-turbine maker AES are among the users of the OAS platform.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022