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Here’s what to know about the reported hack on Okta

Okta, which helps people at more than 15,000 organizations securely log in to online systems, said the issue was limited to a January hack attempt.

Here’s what to know about the reported hack on Okta
[Source Images: Prostock-Studio/iStock]

A hacking group called LAPSUS$ claimed late Monday to have breached systems belonging to Okta, a company that builds services to securely log people in to apps and networks.

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Okta says it’s used by 15,000 global brands, listing customers including Siemens, Hitachi, Moody’s, and Major League Baseball.

The shadowy organization released screenshots that appeared to show access to Okta internal systems, including an internal ticketing system and a Slack chat, Reuters reports. But in an overnight Tweet, Okta CEO Todd McKinnon said the issue appeared to be limited to “an attempt to compromise the account of a third party customer support engineer working for one of our subprocessors” in January that was “investigated and contained.”

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Okta didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company.

Still, the incident likely has some Okta customers on edge, since the service is used to control access to its customers’ sensitive systems. Matthew Prince, the CEO of hosting provider Cloudflare, tweeted that the company is resetting Okta credentials for employees who recently changed their passwords, “out of an abundance of caution,” and it seems likely that other Okta customers will be carefully looking for evidence they were further affected by any hack.

So-called supply chain attacks, where software used by multiple organizations is itself compromised to gain access to other networks, have been an issue in recent major security incidents including the 2017 NotPetya malware attack and the more recent compromise of U.S. federal systems through a hack on the software provider SolarWinds.

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Lapsus$ claimed that “our focus was ONLY on Okta customers,” not the company itself, CNN reports, though it’s unclear exactly what that means.

Okta’s stock price dropped by about 6% in early morning trading, but had recovered by midday.

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About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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