There have been a few disturbing Nation State cyber-attacks over the last few weeks.  FireEye is a California based cybersecurity firm that was hacked recently by a Nation State.  According to reports,  it was a sophisticated attack utilizing vulnerabilities that are extremely hard to exploit.  Hackers breached software provider SolarWinds and then deployed a malware-laced update that could then be used to infect networks.  Also, the US Treasury Department, Department of  Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) was recently attacked using the SolarWinds exploit.  Why are these attacks so disturbing you may ask?  People and companies get hacked all the time.  This is true, but a Nation State such as Russia is suspected to have carried out the attacks.  This is no average ransomware or phishing email attack.

  Every cyber-attack has a "MOM" Method, Opportunity, and Motive. So what is the motive behind the latest attacks from Russia?  You can tell a lot about a Nation State motive by what information they target.  For example,  North Korea almost exclusively targets cybercrime to bring in money.  That is until October 2020, when they targeted intelligence gathering around US nuclear policy.  China on the other hand has looked to gain advantages by collecting intellectual property, corporate, and technology secrets. Russia earlier this year attacked laboratories around the world with clear motives.  They were looking for Covid-19 vaccine research.  But, the latest series of Russian attacks on the US seems a little divergent from previous attacks. The motive is less clear and the method is more aggressive.  We should stay alert!  I hope government officials who are a lot smarter than me will connect the dots.

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