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SolarWinds, Microsoft, FireEye, CrowdStrike do grilling



(Reuters) – Top executive of Texas-based software company SolarWinds Corp., the digital giant Microsoft Corp. and cyber-security firms FireEye Inc. and CrowdStrike Inc. are expected to defend their companies' responses on Tuesday to a wide-ranging series of intrusions accused of hacking Russian as they face the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.

The four are expected to argue for more – or even mandatory – openness in the national response to cyber espionage, which has long been hampered by secrecy and a strong reluctance to publicly identify itself as a victim of hacking.

The four companies are key players in the response to a spectacular set of intrusions that have allowed alleged Russian spies to run amok over US networks and compromise with a total of nine federal agencies and 1

00 private sector companies in what Microsoft President Brad Smith described as " the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen. ”

Mr. Smith was among those who testified on Tuesday. The others were FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, whose company first discovered the hackers, SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, whose corporate software was hijacked by spies to break into a host of other organizations, and CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz, whose company helps SolarWinds to recover from the infringement.

They and others have suggested that the true scope of the breaches is much broader than is generally known, in part because embarrassed executives at other companies are trying to maintain their role in the cyber espionage campaign.

According to an excerpt from his testimony released in advance, Microsoft's Mr. Smith is expected to say that "too many cyberattacks keep information to themselves. We will not solve this problem through silence.

"It is imperative for the nation that we encourage and sometimes even demand better exchange of information on cyberattacks," the excerpt said.

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