Lapsus$ Hacked Microsoft and Nvidia: Is a Teenager Responsible?

stolen data
A group of hackers cracks Microsoft and scares global corporations: the leader is a teenager

A child sits in front of several screens.

So young, so complicated: This is not the first time that a teenager has worried global corporations. (icon image)

© Andriy Popov / Picture Alliance

A group of hackers called “Lapsus$” is making a name for itself on the Internet. Victims include Microsoft, Okta, LG, Samsung, and Nvidia. Security experts now want to have discovered that a 16-year-old Brit is leading the gang.

They grow up with technology and have their first smartphone in kindergarten: Young people today often understand more about technology before they graduate from school than seasoned academics with twenty years of professional experience. The work of young talent doesn’t always result in flagship projects like a useful app; sometimes it seems to be about creating chaos in the digital world of adults.

This is also the case with the “Lapsus$” hacker group, which has been causing problems for global corporations like Samsung, LG, Nvidia and even Microsoft for some time. Because security researchers tasked with finding the source of the attacks now want a hot lead: a teenager from Oxford, England, is said to have coordinated the attacks from his childhood bedroom, and information about the accomplices too. drove minors.

Seven attackers, at least two teenagers

Bloomberg reports that traces of the business attacks are due in part to a connection in Oxford, England, others likely point to at least one perpetrator in Brazil. A total of seven clear attackers could be determined to be active for “Lapsus$”. Investigators are said to have found the suspected gang bosses through analysis of forensic evidence and publicly available data.

According to the report, the young man from Oxford was particularly impressive with his skills. He was “so fast” and “so talented” that the attacks were initially thought to be automated processes. However, it’s often unclear why “Lapsus$” turns the digital world upside down. The group mainly mocks its victims publicly on its Telegram group, making a lot of the loot, often source code and internal documents, freely available.

Unlike ransomware groups like “Conti” or “Cozy Bear”, “Lapsus§” doesn’t appear to be all about the money, although the BBC reports that the gang’s boss is accused of stealing around US$14 million . Hardware manufacturer Nvidia, for example, was asked to open source all future graphics card drivers in order to avoid software-based performance limitations like “LHR” in the future. Nvidia had installed the throttling to make graphics cards less interesting for cryptocurrency mining and to control product unavailability.

Reasons not always clear

Hackers don’t always write about their motives; it could also be arbitrary and dependent on the opportunities offered to the group. This is supported by the fact that the Microsoft attack apparently only occurred because “Lapsus$” gained access to employees who Microsoft claimed had “limited access” to parts of the source code. The group is believed to be actively searching for such accounts and offering money for them.

+++ Read also: 19-year-old Bayer introduces Tesla: “This is how I hacked cars around the world” +++

As Bloomberg reports, seemingly young hackers don’t appear to have been ideally secured. Microsoft confirmed that “Lapsus$” has not sufficiently covered its tracks and is unusually public. This also apparently led to rival gangs leaking the British teenager’s details, including his address and information about his parents.

Bloomberg visited the family at their residence and was able to speak with the boy’s mother, but was not told if the family knew what the son was allegedly doing around the world. According to Bloomberg, there was no conversation with the son and the mother threatened to call the police after a few minutes.

It is said that a 13-year-old hacker paralyzed Facebook, is that true?

More recently, “Lapsus$” wrote in his own Telegram chat that “some members are on vacation until March 30, 2022, there may be silence for a while.” He also says: “We will try to leak more things as soon as possible.” The BBC has already reported seven arrests. He is quoted by City of London Police as saying: “Seven people aged between 16 and 21 have been arrested in connection with investigations into a group of hackers. They have all been released. Our investigations are ongoing.”

source: Bloomberg, BBC

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