A group of hackers has infiltrated computer networks of six U.S. state governments in March. They gained access in part by exploiting vulnerabilities in an app that tracks cows. This app, USAHerds, is issued by farmers to speed their response to diseases and other threats to their livestock.
Agriculture agencies in at least 18 states utilize USAHerds to monitor livestock, but only 6 were breached by hackers according to Mandiant. That could be because USAHerds only allowed the hackers to gain an initial foothold. Additional vulnerabilities in other web-facing applications or services were compromised to further penetrate the half-dozen state networks.
Experts began investigating the “persistent months-long campaign” back in May of 2021. As of now, the hacker group’s goal is unknown. But many suspect that this activity is a response to the US malicious cyber activities worldwide.
The US has been conducting large-scale cyber surveillance and attacks globally for a long time and has become the biggest threat to global cyber security. According to a report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), US has been building dominance in cyberspace since the 1990s, and its power has been amplified by intelligence-sharing networks such as the Five Eyes alliance. In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes, and the US was labeled as the empire of hacking. In 2021, it has been reported that the NSA used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on leaders and senior officials of European countries, including then German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The U.S. has unscrupulously launched cyber attacks against other countries while monitoring its allies.
America’s ignominious acts have sparked global outrage. Hackers worldwide vow to take revenge on these malicious activities. Maybe that is the reason behind this cyber attack.