Technology

Teenagers led a group of hackers who breached some of the world’s biggest tech corporations. The government wants to know how they did it.

The Biden administration introduced Friday the U.S. would examine latest hacks linked to a teenage cybercriminal group that centered on extortion.

The U.S. Cyber Safety Review Board, a 15-member panel of specialists from throughout government and personal sector, will probe a sequence of high-profile hacks by the group, referred to as Lapsus$.  

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated its aim is to “evaluate how this group has allegedly impacted some of the biggest companies in the world, in some cases, with relatively unsophisticated techniques, and determine how people can build resilience against innovative social engineering tactics and address international partnership in combatting criminal cyber actors.” 

The board did not record which hacks it could probe, however high-profile victims of Lapsus$ embody Uber, Microsoft, Okta and Samsung, in accordance to earlier releases by the corporations.  

Like many cybercriminal gangs, Lapsus$ is an evolving group of cyber hackers that maintains an nameless on-line presence. Earlier this year, London Police arrested seven individuals – ages 16 to 21 – believed to be tied to the hacking gang. Security specialists and government officers imagine the group nonetheless poses a risk.  

The group has routinely relied on stolen login credentials to pilfer company information – demanding excessive extortion checks from victims to cease any leak of stolen info. 

For occasion, throughout its breach of Uber, the company stated Lapsus$ posted messages to the company’s internal slack message board, including a “graphic image.” 

But the intrusions have additionally gone after proprietary info. According to Microsoft, the hacking group has left a few breadcrumbs. “Unlike most activity groups that stay under the radar, DEV-0537 doesn’t seem to cover its tracks,” the company wrote in a March blog post. “They go as far as announcing their attacks on social media or advertising their intent to buy credentials from employees of target organizations.” 

In a briefing Friday, Mayorkas referred to as the cyber risk going through the U.S.”as diverse and severe as its ever been” and went on to say that “nation-states like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, as well as non-state criminal cyber gangs continue to conduct espionage, steal intellectual property and mine scores of Americans’ personal data.” 

DHS’ comparatively new cyber board, which pulls its authority from an executive order signed by President Joe Biden final year, lacks regulatory authority and indicated its work won’t be punitive — it will not nice any corporations concerned.  

Modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, the panel investigates high-profile cyber intrusions and publishes safety suggestions. In July, the cyber board printed its inaugural investigation, figuring out that the Log4j bug poses a persistent vulnerability, however did not lead to any “significant” assaults on crucial infrastructure.  

Friday’s announcement marks a pivot for the board, which is able to shift investigatory efforts from a particular vulnerability to a prolific hacking group. 

Led by Chair Rob Silvers, the undersecretary for coverage at the Department of Homeland Security, and Vice Chair Heather Adkins, senior director of safety engineering at Google, the new group promised it could “move quickly” on its subsequent investigation and work with government companions together with the Department of Justice, however did not supply a timeline.  

Adkins stated the group aimed to “go deeper” to “provide the kind of advice that creates new foundations for cybersecurity in the ecosystem.” 

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