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Microsoft investigates infiltration claims from Lapsus$ cybercrime ring

A hacker using a virus to attack software
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Microsoft is looking into claims by the Lapsus$ cybercrime gang that it has compromised code belonging to the US computer giant.  

Lapsus$ has boasted of getting hold of chunks of software code, including elements of Bing and Cortana and shared screenshots on the Telegram channel over the weekend as if to illustrate the point. In the last 24 hours Lapsus$ has followed up its initial boast on Telegram by claiming it has stolen most of the Bing Maps source code too.

In fact, the criminal gang reckons it has compromised around 250 internal Microsoft projects, according to an update posted by The Register.

While the visuals have since disappeared again, reports suggest that the screenshots showed areas of Microsoft’s internal DevOps area. They were spotted by eagle-eyed analyst Dominic Alvieri and reportedly showed Bing and Cortana’s source code, along with WebXT compliance engineering material.

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Victims also include Samsung and Nvidia

Many such claims are often swiftly disproved or brushed aside. However, the fact that Lapsus$ has already had success breaking into the likes of Nvidia, Samsung and Ubisoft too, along with numerous other big names in the world of computing, makes the latest news very credible.

The chaos caused by Lapsus$ hasn't just been limited to the IT sector though. The cycbercrime outfit is also well known for its intrusion into Brazil’s Ministry of Health technology infrastructure, as well as the Portuguese SIC Noticias and Expresso media businesses. The latter events have led analysts to suspect the Lapsus$ operation is run from Brazil.

Events have taken an even more serious turn more recently, with the criminal gang infiltrating Nvidia’s IT networks during February. They allegedly managed to make off with one terabyte of data, including data on personnel, some of which later appeared online. Lapsus$ has since tackled Samsung, doing the same thing and stealing 190GB of internal documents, alongside elements of source code relating to Samsung’s Galaxy device.

Also feeling the heat from Lapsus$ have been gaming giant Ubisoft and telecoms monolith Vodafone. The latter business is said to be looking into claims by Lapsus$ that it had managed to escape with 200GB of source code. Vodafone has been quick to add that any data removed hasn’t involved any customer records.

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Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.