Speculators Look to ID AVs Hacked by Russia
Last week there were reports by Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel) claiming that three US antivirus companies had been hacked by a top-tier Russian hacking collective.
While the original research did not identify the impacted companies, both Gizmodo and Bleeping Computer have reported that McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro are the three companies in question.
Though it does try to adhere to the general rule of not discussing victim entities, an AdvIntel spokesperson said in an email, “Given the latest independent corroboration and publication, we can confirm that Trend Micro and McAfee were two of the companies that were claimed to be breached by the actor group with their internal access and data for sale.”
Trend Micro has confirmed that an unauthorized third party accessed a single testing lab network. “We have an active investigation underway related to recent claims, and while it is not complete, we want to transparently share what we have learned. Working closely with law enforcement, our global threat research and forensic teams are leading this investigation,” a Trend Micro spokesperson wrote in an email.
“Some low-risk debugging related information was obtained. We are nearing the end of our investigation and at this time we have seen no indication that any customer data nor source code were accessed or exfiltrated. Immediate action was taken to quarantine the lab and additionally secure all corresponding environments. Due to the active nature of the investigation, we are not in a position to share any additional information, but we will provide an update when additional insights become available and can be disclosed.”
A McAfee spokesperson wrote, “McAfee has been conducting a thorough investigation into these claims. To date, we’ve found no indication that McAfee products, services or networks have been impacted by the campaign described.”
AdvIntel said that it had reached out to all of the purported victims, as well as the law enforcement, regarding Fxmsp well before its initial blog was released. Though the company did not comment on whether Symantec was one of the breached companies, there has been speculation that Symantec is the third victim.
Symantec said it is aware of recent claims that a number of US-based antivirus companies were breached, and a spokesperson said, “We have been in contact with researchers at AdvIntel, who confirmed that Symantec (Norton) has not been impacted. We do not believe there is a reason for our customers to be concerned.”
*AdvIntel admitted in a message to Computer Business Review that Fxmsp had not provided “sufficient evidence to support this allegation [that Symantec was hacked].” The company added: “We believe with a high degree of confidence that Symantec’s assessment of risks and their statement that ‘there is no reason for our [Symantec] customers to be concerned currently’ is correct.”
Industry: Cyber Security News
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