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U.S. Treasury Department behind security fence. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an "emergency directive" late Sunday requiring all federal civilian agencies to review their networks and immediately disconnect SolarWinds Orion software products, following a suspected Russian hack on the Treasury and Commerce Department.

Why it matters: It's only the fifth time since 2015 that the Department of Homeland Security has issued such a directive, per AP, underscoring the concerns officials have about an operation that one cybersecurity expert warned could turn out to be "one of the most impactful espionage campaigns on record."

The big picture: News of the hack came less than week after cybersecurity company FireEye revealed that nation-state hackers had penetrated its network and stolen its hacking its tools.

  • The Washington Post reported that the Russian hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and believed to have ties to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), is behind the campaign.
  • SolarWinds, the company whose software is believed to have been compromised, says it has 300,000 customers worldwide, including "all five branches of the U.S. military, the Pentagon, the State Department, NASA, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice and the White House," per AP.

What they're saying: "Based on our analysis, we have now identified multiple organizations where we see indications of compromise dating back to the Spring of 2020, and we are in the process of notifying those organizations," FireEye wrote in a blog post.

  • "Our analysis indicates that these compromises are not self-propagating; each of the attacks require meticulous planning and manual interaction.

Worth noting: President Trump fired the previous director of CISA, Christopher Krebs, last month after Krebs undermined him by calling the U.S. election "the most secure in American history."

Go deeper

How the far right made itself a Russian intel target

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The bizarre story of Capitol rioter Riley June Williams is a full-circle moment for Russia as it looks for new ways to shore up its own influence by fueling the democracy-destabilizing ascendancy of a globally networked radical right.

The big picture: Five years ago, Russia used a network of bots and strategic hack-and-leak operations to embolden an unwitting U.S. far right. Now, at least one American extremist stands accused of willingly offering would-be material support to Moscow.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

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