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Hackers allegedly breach authentication security software firm Okta, used by 15,000+ companies

Lapsus$ claimed to have successfully hacked ‘a number of Okta systems’ on 21 March 2022, but the authentication and identification security solution software company denied seeing any proof. 

What is Okta, and why is news of a possible compromise trending in the United States?

Okta is a security solutions firm that provides customers with a secure platform and cloud infrastructure to integrate almost all their applications, services, and cloud. Its Identity Cloud serves as a central system hosting clients’ connectivity, access, authentication, and identity needs.

Basically, it is a company offering additional security solutions to customers such as T-Mobile, Hitachi, Nasdaq, Major League Baseball, Moody’s, Cloudflare, and more.

Looking at their top customers, it is quite understandable that a breach in its systems could be bad for companies that put their trust in them, which is precisely what hacking group Lapsus$ is claiming. It had shared screenshots claiming to have control over some of Okta’s systems. However, the group claimed that the aim of their exercise was not to steal data but access its customers.

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The company claimed that it had detected no sign of a breach in reply. It only conceded that there had been a suspicious attempt to compromise one of their third-party support engineers working on a subprocessor in January 2022.

“The matter was investigated and contained by the subprocessor. We believe the screenshots shared online are connected to this January event. Based on our investigation to date, there is no evidence of ongoing malicious activity beyond the activity detected in January,” the company’s statement reads.

Ekram Ahmed, its spokesperson, also added: “Thousands of companies use Okta to secure and manage their identities. Through private keys retrieved within Okta, the cyber gang may have access to corporate networks and applications.”

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, an Okta customer whose company appeared in the screenshot, revealed no evidence that his company was breached. He revealed that beyond Okta, Cloudflare uses other security layers.

CNBC reported that Okta’s shares went down by 7% in pre-market trade despite the reassuring statement. If security solution companies are not entirely safe, you should start taking your cybersecurity seriously.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.