White House Scales Back Response to SolarWinds & Exchange Server Attacks

White House Scales Back Response to SolarWinds & Exchange Server Attacks
Lessons learned from the Unified Coordination Groups will be used to inform future response efforts, a government official says.

The Biden administration has decided to stand down two emergency response groups recently established to drive a coordinated government response to the SolarWinds attack and exploits targeting critical Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities.


Lessons learned from the two so-called Unified Coordination Groups (UCGs) will be used to help improve future government responses to major cyber incidents, said Anne Neuberger, White House deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, on Monday.


"Due to the vastly increased patching and reduction in victims, we are standing down the current UCG surge efforts and will be handling further responses through standard incident management procedures," Neuberger said in a statement.


The Trump White House established the first UGC in early January following news of the SolarWinds breach. The attack resulted in malware being distributed to some 18,000 organizations around the world including government agencies, private companies, and technology firms. The task force, comprised of security teams from the FBI, the DHS' Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the ODNI, was set up to drive a coordinated investigation and response for the attack, which involved federal government networks.


The Biden administration established a similar UGC in March, this time in response to news about attacks targeting four newly disclosed zero-day vulnerabilities in the widely used Microsoft Exchange Server. Unlike the first task force, this one also encouraged participation from pr ..