Okta Says Hundreds of Its Customers May Have Been Caught In Hack


Okta Inc.,

OKTA -7.82%

one of many world’s main suppliers of digital identification verification, mentioned that a January information breach revealed by hackers this week might have affected lots of of shoppers that depend on its software program to handle safe entry to their inner laptop networks.

Okta mentioned the assault had affected as many as 366 clients, or 2.5% of the greater than 15,000 companies and establishments it companies world-wide. The breach, claimed by the Lapsus$ group, originated from the laptop computer of an engineer employed by a subcontractor, which the hackers had entry to between Jan. 16 and 21, Okta mentioned Tuesday.

Okta mentioned it had contacted clients that had been doubtlessly affected. Shares of Okta fell 9.2% to $151.12 in morning buying and selling.

Reports of the breach emerged earlier this week after Lapsus$ posted screenshots that seemed to be of Okta inner methods to its Telegram social-media account. The group mentioned its major goal wasn’t Okta however its clients.

Okta mentioned in separate statements on Tuesday that the screenshots had been from a pc utilized by a customer-support engineer from a unit of a subcontractor, Miami-based Sitel Group. Taking management of the pc successfully gave the hackers the identical stage of entry because the engineer, in keeping with Okta.

Support engineers can entry solely restricted information and whereas they may help reset passwords and multifactor authentication elements, they’ll’t see the passwords themselves, Okta mentioned. The engineer didn’t have “godlike access,” and had no energy to create or delete person accounts, obtain buyer databases or entry supply code repositories, it mentioned.

“The scenario here is analogous to walking away from your computer at a coffee shop, whereby a stranger has (virtually in this case) sat down at your machine and is using the mouse and keyboard.”

Okta mentioned it notified Sitel of the breach in late January, and Sitel employed an outdoor forensic agency to research. The full outcomes of the investigation had been shared with Okta on Tuesday, it mentioned, expressing disappointment on the time taken to subject the outcomes.

The unit of Sitel the place the breach befell, Tampa, Fla.-based Sykes Enterprises Inc., mentioned it took swift motion to comprise the incident after studying of the hack. “Following completion of the initial investigation, working in partnership with the worldwide cybersecurity leader, we continue to investigate and assess potential security risks to both our infrastructure and to the brands we support around the globe,” the corporate Sykes mentioned in an announcement Tuesday.

‘The scenario here is analogous to walking away from your computer at a coffee shop, whereby a stranger has (virtually in this case) sat down at your machine and is using the mouse and keyboard.’

— Okta

In a follow-up Telegram publish, Lapsus$ disputed a few of Okta’s findings. It denied that it compromised a laptop computer and mentioned assist engineers have more-extensive entry than Okta instructed, together with to inner communications. It additionally took subject with Okta’s assertion that the influence of the breach on clients was restricted. The potential to reset passwords and multifactor authentication elements “would result in complete compromise of many clients’ systems,” Lapsus$ mentioned.

When requested in regards to the hackers’ claims, an Okta spokeswoman referred to the corporate’s earlier assertion describing the restrictions of the breach.

In a weblog publish on Tuesday,

Microsoft Corp.

confirmed it had been hacked by the group, and that for weeks had been monitoring what it described as a large-scale marketing campaign by Lapsus$ towards a number of organizations. It described the group as usually performing overtly and never attempting to cowl its tracks, utilizing extortion and destruction of knowledge.

After getting access to a company, the group has been identified to eavesdrop on disaster communication calls and inner messaging boards, Microsoft mentioned.

The group—which communicates in Portuguese and damaged English on Telegram—minimize its enamel with assaults in Brazil, Portugal and the U.Okay. earlier than increasing to goal a few of the world’s largest and most prestigious firms. In latest weeks, Lapsus$ has taken credit score for hacks on

Apple Inc.,

Samsung Electronics Co.


Nvidia Corp.

It additionally has taken over particular person accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges and drained customers’ holdings.

Write to Dan Strumpf at

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