SolarWinds Orion customers have suffered some network compromises according to news reports.

One report says, right at the end of the article, that SAML2.0 signing certificates may have been compromised.

From the point of view of a SAML service provider (that's me!), this means attackers can spoof Assertions (credentials) to our service. Our customers definitely don't want that. Neither do we.

It seems likely our customers who

  1. use SAML and
  2. were hit by those attackers

will want to change their SAML public keys on our system and systems like it. Quickly!

The CA and certificate revocation stuff built in to the browser TLS won't help: many of these SAML signing certificates are self-signed; they're just used for crypto key exchange for document signatures.

For this specific kind of infosec emergency are there any best practices for handling this sort of cross-system mass scale cert update? I'd even want to see some actual practices...

  • Prediction: you'll be answering this yourself in a couple days once you've figured out the best solution :) Dec 15, 2020 at 14:44
  • 2
    Use SAML implementations that understand how to use your partner's metadata endpoints for updating your stack's certificates. This is the only mechanism that you possibly have beyond manual coordination.
    – Andrew K.
    Dec 15, 2020 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


1. use SAML and

Would suggest to provide clear step by step guide to customers on how to update the new SAML certs

2. were hit by those attackers

Probably in this case will be the answer above in point 1. and with regards to detection and monitoring. There's also the phases of your incident response to consider. containment, eradication, and recovery, and post-incident analysis.

Monitor SAML traffic and Review SAML logs as well as having UEBA type detection in place. Perform retrospective checks in the environment.

These would be some of the best practices adopted and adapted accordingly to each organization environment

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