Okta Closes Lapsus$ Breach Probe, Adds New Security Controls


Identity and access management tech firm Okta says it has concluded an investigation into the embarrassing Lapsus$ hacking incident and has severed ties with a third-party company at the center of the breach.

Facing public criticism for communications hiccups after the breach was detected, Okta issued a public statement Wednesday to stress that the impact from the incident was “significantly smaller than we initially scoped.”

A statement from Okta’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) David Bradbury said the company initially determined that about 366 customers were affected but a third-party forensic audit showed the damage was contained. 

Bradbury described the main conclusions from the audit, which was conducted by an unnamed globally recognized cybersecurity forensic firm:

  • The threat actor actively controlled a single workstation, used by a Sykes/Sitel support engineer, with access to Okta resources.
  • Control lasted for 25 consecutive minutes on January 21, 2022.
  • During that limited window of time, the threat actor accessed two active customer tenants within the SuperUser application (whom we have separately notified), and viewed limited additional information in certain other applications like Slack and Jira that cannot be used to perform actions in Okta customer tenants.
  • The threat actor was unable to successfully perform any configuration changes, MFA or password resets, or customer support “impersonation” events. 
  • The threat actor was unable to authenticate directly to any Okta accounts. 

“While the overall impact of the compromise has been determined to be significantly smaller than we initially scoped, we recognize the broad toll this kind of compromise can have on our customers and their trust in Okta,” Bradbury said.

He said Okta had terminated its relationship with Sykes/Sitel and will now “directly manage” all devices of third parties that access its  customer support tools.

“We are making further modifications to our customer support tool to restrictively limit what information a technical support engineer can view. These changes also provide greater transparency about when this tool is used in customer admin consoles,” Bradbury added.

Related: The Chaos (and Cost) of the Lapsus$ Hacking Carnage

Related: Microsoft, Okta Confirm Data Breaches Involving Compromised

Related: Credentials of 71,000 NVIDIA Employees Leaked by Lapsus$ 

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends.
Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan’s career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive’s ZDNet, PCMag and PC World.
Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.

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