A teenager who lives at home with his mother in Oxford has been accused of being the mastermind of the multi-million dollar Lapsus$ hacking group.
The 16-year-old, whose name has not been identified, allegedly amassed $14 million through cybercriminal activities, including accessing sensitive company data from MicrosoftSamsung and Vodafone.
The Lapsus$ group specializes in stealing data from big tech companies and has threatened to publish it online unless a large ransom is paid.
Cybersecurity researchers uncovered seven accounts linked to the group, according to Bloomberg, although they labeled the Oxford teenager as the suspected leader.
Just this week, Lapsus$ said it would release Microsoft’s source code through its official channel on the Telegram chat app, which has more than 45,000 subscribers, but Microsoft said it intercepted the cyberattack.
“This public disclosure has intensified our action, allowing our team to step in and interrupt the actor mid-operation, thereby limiting broader impact,” Microsoft wrote in a statement. blog post Tuesday.
“No code or customer data was implicated in the observed activities. Our investigation revealed that only one account was compromised, granting limited access. Microsoft does not rely on code secrecy as a security measure and viewing the source code does not lead to increased risk.
Security researcher Brian Krebs noted that Lapsus$ has been “recruiting insiders through multiple social media platforms since at least November 2021,” with rewards of up to $20,000 per week offered to anyone willing to do “inside work.” “.
The family of the teenager suspected of leading the group have been interviewed by the BBC, who said they were unaware of any illicit activity.
“He never talked about hacking, but he’s very good at computers and spends a lot of time on the computer. I always thought he was playing games,” his father said.
“We will try to prevent it from going to computers.”