Samsung Hit by Lapsus$ Ransomware

  • By David Lukic
  • Mar 09, 2022

Samsung public relations representatives are admitting the company has been struck by Lapsus$ ransomware. The attack comes merely one week after NVIDIA was attacked by the same ransomware.  

What Information was Released After the Breach?

Samsung’s media statement notes that a security breach occurred, exposing internal data from the company. The attack on the tech giant resulted in the leaking of employee credentials to the public. However, Samsung representatives were also quick to point out customer data was not affected by the breach.

Is Lapsus$ Admitting It Launched the Attack?

Indeed, Lapsus$ is taking credit for the hack. Lapsus$ used its Telegram channel to announce the breach of the tech powerhouse. Lapsus$ even went as far as including biometric authentication information along with source code from Samsung and one of its primary suppliers, Qualcomm, to the web. These details were gleaned from Security Affairs, a digital security specialist that recently published a screen capture of the Samsung Lapsus$ data leak.

Why is the Attack a Problem?

Aside from exposing employee credentials to the web, the Lapsus$ ransomware attack is problematic as it might leak Samsung keys. If those keys are leaked, the TrustZone environment for Samsung devices will be compromised. This environment is important as it contains highly sensitive information, including passwords, biometrics, and additional details. The environment provides functional utility as it generates a robust digital security defense against Android malware attacks.  

If the leaked information permits malware to tap into the TrustZone environment, the entirety of the information stored in that space might be susceptible to theft and use for illegal purposes. The question is whether Samsung still has control over its signing keys. If the company no longer controls those keys, it won’t be possible to update phones to thwart digital attacks on the environment. Hackers’ use of the keys would make the attack even more impactful than that levied on NVIDIA, as Samsung has many more customers and devices with highly sensitive data.

What can Organizations do to Prevent Similar Attacks?

Though ransomware attacks are on the rise, businesses are empowered to take important steps to safeguard their digital information. Aside from implementing patches, email protection, and endpoint protection, organizations should also incorporate a zero-trust approach. It will also help to train employees on digital security threats. Businesses are encouraged to implement robust authentication, including multi-factor authentication.

Is Samsung Still Vulnerable?

Indeed, Samsung is not out of the woods yet. Even if the company shores up the digital weakness that opened the door for the ransomware attack, it is still susceptible to compromise down the line. The Lapsus$ digital security breach ultimately makes Samsung that much more vulnerable to being compromised a second time as it publicizes the fact that the company’s digital defenses are lacking.  

The successful Lapsus$ attack on Samsung also has the potential to lead to additional problems across posterity as it creates a pathway into Samsung devices. Those pathways make Samsung phones and other devices that much more vulnerable. Samsung’s attention will likely shift to protecting customers’ sensitive data on their mobile devices.


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