Suspected Chinese Hackers Used SolarWinds Bug To Spy on US Payroll Agency

Suspected Chinese hackers exploited a flaw in software made by SolarWinds to help break into U.S. government computers last year, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing five people familiar with the matter, marking a new twist in a sprawling cybersecurity breach that U.S. lawmakers have labeled a national security emergency. From a report: Two people briefed on the case said FBI investigators recently found that the National Finance Center, a federal payroll agency inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was among the affected organizations, raising fears that data on thousands of government employees may have been compromised. The software flaw exploited by the suspected Chinese group is separate from the one the United States has accused Russian government operatives of using to compromise up to 18,000 SolarWinds customers, including sensitive federal agencies, by hijacking the company’s Orion network monitoring software. Security researchers have previously said a second group of hackers was abusing SolarWinds’ software at the same time as the alleged Russian hack, but the suspected connection to China and ensuing U.S. government breach have not been previously reported.