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Federal agencies must disconnect from hacked network by noon Monday

Government security agency issued an emergency order for federal agencies to power down SolarWinds Orion products.

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Depiction of a hacker
Depiction of a hacker
(Magnus916 / Creative Commons)
Updated: December 14, 2020 - 11:49am

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A U.S. government cybersecurity defense agency has given a noon deadline for civilian federal organizations to disconnect from a hacked computer network management program.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Sunday night issued an emergency order for U.S. government agencies to shut off all active connections to SolarWinds Orion products.

"This Emergency Directive calls on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately," reads a Sunday night notice from CISA.

The organization, a federal agency overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, imposed a tight deadline on the directive.

"All agencies operating SolarWinds products should provide a completion report to CISA by 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday December 14, 2020," the agency wrote.

The order follows the discovery that "malicious actors" have been exploiting a hacking operation against SolarWinds Orion products. 

“The United States government is aware of these reports, and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation,” John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said Sunday.