WithSecure Okta Threat Update

Security advisory


  • A financially motivated data extortion threat actor, LAPSUS$, has claimed they have gained access to the identity provider Okta and have used this to compromise Okta's customers. Some screenshots shared by the threat actor appear to show the ability to perform administrative actions on a user account
  • WithSecure cannot independently confirm the compromise or the impact, but the Okta CEO has tweeted to confirm a sub-processor did suffer a breach that aligns with a screenshot posted by the threat actor of what appears to be an internal system of Okta.
  • Okta is used by many organizations to manage access to cloud and SaaS solutions, which if compromised could have a large potential impact for victim organizations to critical systems
  • WithSecure assess that it is likely that the main risk from the LAPSUS$ threat actor is the theft of data for extortion.
  • WithSecure recommends organizations take proportionate steps, as outlined below, to mitigate any impact from the potential compromise


WithSecure is aware that a threat actor has claimed to have compromised the identity provider Okta. The threat actor, known as the LAPSUS$, claimed on their Telegram channel to have accessed Okta and provided screenshots showing access to what appear to be internal systems of Okta. The screenshots all appear to show the date of the 21st of January 2022. WithSecure cannot independently verify these screenshots, but the CEO of Okta posted tweets[1] appearing to confirm that a support engineer at a sub-processor had been compromised around that time. The threat actor[2] and Okta seem to confirm in their posts that this access is no longer present.

The LAPSUS$ threat actor has claimed that they have not dumped any databases from Okta and have instead their focus was on Okta's customers, which contains a number of high profile organizations globally. There is a screenshot included in their dump that appears to show the actor with access to an account that would allow them to reset its password, generate a temporary password, reset Multi-Factor Access (MFA), and alter groups of the account.

The LAPSUS$ threat actor appears to operate a financially motivated data extortion model, where they will steal data from organizations and demand payment not to release this data publicly. They have reportedly been involved in a number of high profile breaches that has included Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Ubisoft[3] (WithSecure cannot independently confirm these).

WithSecure's View

Okta is commonly used by organizations to manage access to their cloud and SaaS applications. If true, the compromise of Okta poses a risk to organizations who use Okta or organizations whose suppliers use Okta. As the threat actor has posted screenshots of this access and has shown the ability to gain access to other high-profile organizations, whether related or not to this compromise, it is a credible risk that WithSecure recommends organizations should take proportionate steps to mitigate. WithSecure assess that it is likely that the main risk from the LAPSUS$ threat actor is the theft of data for extortion.

At minimum

  • If not already done, determine and document your exposure to Okta directly and through your suppliers/third-parties
  • Determine from the exposure what critical data may be exposed, and focus mitigation and response actions around those systems
  • Cycle any secrets or credentials related to the administration of Okta by your organization
  • Preserve Okta logs since the start of the year to ensure no logs are lost due to limits or purging
  • Review Okta logs related to the administration of Okta accounts and access for any signs of compromise or misuse since the start of the year[4]

Also to consider

  • Review MFA related access for any Okta accounts to confirm if access has been added or tampered with since the start of the year
  • Review all authentication logs related to Okta for any anomalous or malicious use since the start of the year
  • Review logs that may show old accounts being re-enabled and passwords being reset
  • Implement detection logic for malicious activity related to Okta. Some existing detection logic is in open source that can be used as a guide for this activity [5][6]
  • Whilst no impact has been confirmed, it may be prudent to cycle all credentials related to Okta for your organization if the resulting impact of such activity is assessed to be low comparatively to the impact of the abuse of these credentials. In most instances this is unlikely to be actually warranted, but may be beyond the risk appetite of your organization to not do so.



  • WithSecure Okta Threat Update
  • Date

  • 22.03.2022