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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.

6th victim dies following South Carolina shooting

Jack Logan, founder of Put Down the Guns Young People, places stuffed animals and flowers outside of Riverview Family Medicine and Urgent Care on Friday after the fatal shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a day earlier. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The only survivor of this week's mass shooting in South Carolina by former NFL player Phillip Adams has died of his injuries, authorities said Saturday.

Details: Robert Shook, 38, an air conditioning technician from Cherryville, North Carolina, died of gunshot wounds from Wednesday's shooting at a doctor's home in Rock Hill, S.C., which claimed the lives of five other victims.

2 hours ago - World

In photos: Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old "lost golden city"

A view on Saturday of the city, dubbed "The Rise of Aten," dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered near Luxor. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images

A top Egyptian archaeologist on Saturday outlined details of a newly rediscovered "lost golden city" near Luxor that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Why it matters: Zahi Hawass told NBC News the large ancient city, unveiled Thursday, tells archaeologists for the first time "about the life of the people during the Golden Age." Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said in a statement it's "the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen."

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