The SolarWinds incident reported last December stood out because of the extreme carefulness of the attackers and the high-profile nature of their victims. The evidence suggests that the threat actor behind the attack, DarkHalo (aka Nobelium), had spent six months inside OrionIT’s networks to perfect their attack.
In June, more than six months after DarkHalo had gone dark, we observed the DNS hijacking of multiple government zones of a CIS member state that allowed the attacker to redirect traffic from government mail servers to computers under their control – probably achieved by obtaining credentials to the control panel of the victims’ registrar. When victims tried to access their corporate mail, they were redirected to a fake copy of the web interface. Following this, they were tricked into downloading previously unknown malware.