SolarWinds Says It’s Cooperating with Probes by SEC, Justice

SolarWinds Corp. said it’s cooperating with numerous investigations -- including by the U.S. Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and various state Attorneys General -- into a massive cyber-attack by suspected Russian hackers that targeted its software.

“We are cooperating and providing information in connection with these investigations and inquiries and are incurring, and in future periods expect to incur, costs and other expenses in connection with these investigations and inquiries,” the company said in a March 1 regulatory filing.

No further details were available in the filing. A representative for SolarWinds didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Washington Post reported the SEC investigation comes after the sale of $315 million in stock by SolarWinds’s largest investors in the days before the hack was revealed. The investor group avoided losses of more than $100 million, while the buyer, Canada’s largest pension fund, saw the value of its shares decline more than 40% in the days after the attack became public, the Post reported.

The stock sale was led by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo, the private equity firms that together own 70% of SolarWinds and control six of the company’s board seats, the Post reported. SolarWinds, Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo have all said they learned of the cyber-attack after the agreement was reached, the newspaper reported.

The cyber-attack was made public in December after the cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. discovered it while investigating a hack into its own network. The suspected Russian hackers targeted popular software from SolarWinds, installing malicious code that as many as 18,000 customers received in updates. The White House said the hackers went after about 100 private-sector companies for follow-on attacks and nine U.S. government agencies. The investigation is ongoing.

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