Alleged Russian Hackers Got Into Arizona County Government

(Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Alleged Russian hackers responsible for breaking into SolarWinds software to monitor U.S. businesses and government entities gained access to a county government in Arizona, as well as a major cable provider, according to Reuters.

Hackers were capable of infiltrating the local government in Pima County, Arizona and Cox Communications networks, Reuters reported.

Pima County Chief Information Officer Dan Hunt told Reuters via email that Pima County followed the U.S. government’s emergency advisory and took the SolarWinds software offline, and that investigators had not found further breaches in the county.

A spokesman for Cox Communications told Reuters they were performing an “around the clock” investigation to get to the bottom of the breach. “The security of the services we provide is a top priority,” the spokesman told Reuters.

The backdoors that gave hackers access to Cox Communications and Pima County’s networks were activated around six months ago, and it remains unclear what information hackers were able to gain access to over that time period, according to Reuters.

Beyond Cox Communications and Pima County, the hacking operation gained access to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department, Commerce Department, State Department and Microsoft. (RELATED: DHS Officials Were Also Monitored In Suspected Russian Cyber Espionage Operation)

The suspected Russian hack is one of the largest hacking operations ever uncovered, according to Reuters. Hackers had unknown access to some of these entities’ data for nearly nine months, Reuters reported.

The technology company SolarWinds has 300,000 global customers, with notable Fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, and government entities, such as The White House and U.S. Department of Defense, among them, according to Reuters.

The technology company previously announced that up to 18,000 clients had downloaded a corrupted software update for their Orion network management software that could make the clients vulnerable to the suspected hackers.