Russian hackers gained access to the computer systems of federal agencies, by sneaking malicious code into a software update, which was sent out to thousands of government agencies and private companies. This allowed them to exploit weaknesses in the supply chain that they, unsurprisingly, used to launch a massive intelligence gathering operation.
U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts have often sounded the alarm about these issues. However, these types of attacks have been able to defy any easy solutions presented by the government and private sector. William Evanina, the former U.S. government chief’s counterintelligence official stated: “We’re going to have to wrap our arms around the supply-chain threat and find the solution, not only for us here in America as the leading economy in the world, but for the planet. We’re going to have to find a way to make sure that we in the future can have a zero-risk posture, and trust our suppliers.”