Hacking

Unverified Microsoft Data Breach Claim Targets Employee Data

Data of employees including names, emails, and locations, was allegedly compromised in an undisclosed third-party breach in July 2024

by Krishna Murthy July 10, 2024

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A Threat Actor (TA) has claimed to have orchestrated a data breach from Microsoft which allegedly compromises sensitive data of over 2,000 employees. The notorious TA, operating under the pseudonym, 888, shared that the data was allegedly compromised in an undisclosed third-party breach in July 2024, but the data has the latest date of 2022.

Details of Alleged Microsoft Data Breach

According to the TA’s post on dark web marketplace BreachForums, the hacked data included information about 2,073 personally identifiable information (PII) records of Microsoft employees, including the first name, last name, job title, email, linkedin profile urls, city and country.

To substantiate the data breach claim, the threat actor shared a sample of the data breach which included sensitive PIIs of users mostly from New Zealand and one user from Greece. The TA, however, did not elaborate on which third-party app of Microsoft was hacked to initiate the leak.

Potential Impact on Microsoft Employees

If proven, the potential consequences of this data breach could be critical as the sensitive PII records could be leaked. The organization should take appropriate measures to protect the privacy and security of the stakeholders involved. Leak of personal information can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and a loss of trust among clients, potentially jeopardizing the company’s standing in the industry.

Currently, details regarding the extent of the compromised Microsoft data and the motive behind the cyber assault remain undisclosed.

Despite the claims made by the TA “888”, there is no public information of a leak from any of Microsoft’s assets which remain fully functional. This discrepancy has raised doubts about the authenticity of the bad actor’s assertion.

he hacker, 888, has previously been linked to several high-profile data breaches, including those of Credit Suisse, Accenture India, Shell, Heineken, and UNICEF.

To ascertain the veracity of the claims, The Cyber Express has reached out to Microsoft officials. As of the writing of this news report, no response has been received, leaving the data breach claim unverified.

Microsoft Criticized for Poor Security Measures

Microsoft has come under severe scrutiny over its security failures in the recent past.

In April 2024, a significant data leak exposed sensitive employee credentials and internal company files to the internet, raising serious concerns about data security protocols within the organization. The data leak was identified through an open and public storage server hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the data leak was not highlighted or detected by Microsoft’s internal security systems, raising questions about the efficacy of their monitoring mechanisms.

The report further highlighted that the data accessible online included a myriad of sensitive information such as code, scripts, and configuration files containing passwords, keys, and credentials utilized by Microsoft employees for accessing internal databases and systems.

In February, ‘Three high-risk vulnerabilities’ were reported in the Azure components of Microsoft’s cloud software solutions along with a critical IoT device vulnerability that potentially allowed for remote code execution(RCE) attacks.

Last month, Microsoft pushed ahead with the new Windows Recall screen recording feature despite the concerns of security and privacy advocates that the company belatedly tried to address. After criticism, the company then announced that it will delay the Recall feature for further testing.

Microsoft President Brad Smith, in a hearing by the House Committee on Homeland Security in June,  said to strengthen cybersecurity measures, the company has added 1,600 more security engineers this fiscal year and would add another 800 new security positions in the next fiscal year.

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