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  /  cybersecurity   /  Advancing Security: Lapsus$ is the Waking Call for Tech Companies

Advancing Security: Lapsus$ is the Waking Call for Tech Companies

The story of Lapsus$: the new name in ransomware threats feared by major tech companies.

Cybersecurity researchers and major law enforcement organizations are investigating a string of hacks against technology companies, including Microsoft Corp, and Nvidia Corp, which have traced the new hot name in ransomware attacks as Lapsus$. Seven teens between the age of 16 and 21, were arrested in London on the suspicion of being linked to the Lapsus$ group. Lapsus$ is a somewhat different type of ransomware gang. Rather than gaining access and delivering a ransomware payload that encrypts a target’s systems, it tries to gain access to source code repositories, stealing code and demanding a ransom to not release it to the public.


Lapsus$ Attacks

Lapsus$ attackers have not just stolen credentials or business-related content, but they went straight for the source code of the companies’ proprietary firmware. These tactics highlight the importance of having in place robust code signing security procedures.

It has been on a string of attacks, compromising Microsoft, Samsung, and Nvidia. In the case of the latter, the group hacked its GPU source code, demanding the company to open-source its drivers or see the code released publicly.

The group has publicly taunted its victims, leaking their source code and internal documents. Last December, the blow was severe, 50 TB of internal data was copied and deleted from all systems. In January, Lapsus$ made another blow to a company that deals with media production.

On March 22, 2022, Lapsus$ revealed it had breached Okta Inc., which sent the company into a public-relations crisis. In multiple blog posts, Okta disclosed that an engineer at a third-party vendor was breached and that 2.5% of its customers may have been impacted. However, the potential impact on Okta customers is limited to the access of support that the engineers have, the hacking group could not download customer data and could not access passwords.

Experts said that it was a wake-up call for tech companies. Fortunately, they didn’t lose any customer information or any sensitive data. They only got access to source codes, which of course they did not prefer, but it was nothing harmful. Ransomware has been on the rise, becoming one of the most popular, and profitable, forms of cybercrime.