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UK Charges Teenagers Linked to the Lapsus$ Hacking Group

Two weeks ago, news broke of seven teenagers being arrested in the UK for their connection with the Lapsus$ extortion gang. Days before the arrest, an affiliate of the group released personal information of the alleged leader of the gang after a falling out between the affiliate and the rest of the group. The alleged leader was a teenager residing with his mother in London. This week, UK law enforcement announced two of the teenagers have been charged and released on bail after appearing in the Highbury Magistrates Court last Friday. The teenagers have been charged with three counts of unauthorized access to a computer with intent to impair the reliability of data, one count of fraud by false representation, and one count of unauthorized access to a computer with intent to hinder access to data. The FBI is also looking into the group’s illegal activities and is seeking information concerning the Lapsus$ members involved in the compromise of computer networks belonging to multiple US-based companies.

Analyst Notes

It is currently unknown how many affiliate members are in the Lapsus$ group. The group posts stolen data on a Telegram channel and has a large following. It is likely any affiliates that have not been arrested or otherwise compromised will move to other hacking groups or start their own. To protect against cyber-attacks, organizations should:

• Regularly back up data, air gap, and password protect backup copies offline.
• Ensure copies of critical data are not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the data resides.
• Implement network segmentation.
• Implement a recovery plan to maintain and retain multiple copies of sensitive or proprietary data and servers in a physically separate, segmented, secure location (i.e., hard drive, storage device, the cloud).
• Install updates/patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as practical after they are released.
• Implement monitoring of security events on employee workstations and servers, with a 24/7 Security Operations Center to detect threats and respond quickly.
• Use multifactor authentication where possible.
• Use strong passwords and regularly change passwords to network systems and accounts, implementing the shortest acceptable timeframe for password changes.
• Avoid reusing passwords for multiple accounts.
• Focus on cyber security awareness and training.
• Regularly provide users with training on information security principles and techniques as well as overall emerging cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.