Malwarebytes ‘s email systems hacked by SolarWinds attackers

by chebbi abir

Cyber security firm Malwarebytes announced that threat actor behind the SolarWinds attack also breached its network last year.

Malwarebytes revealed today that SolarWinds hackers also breached its systems and gained access to its email. Malwarebytes joins the club of security firms that were hit by Solarwinds attackers, after FireEye, Microsoft, and CrowdStrike.


The intrusion took place last year, the company pointed out that hackers exploited another attack vector and did use SolarWinds Orion software.

The intruders compromised some internal systems by exploiting a weakness in Azure Active Directory and abused malicious Office 365 applications.

“While Malwarebytes does not use SolarWinds, we, like many other companies were recently targeted by the same threat actor. We can confirm the existence of another intrusion vector that works by abusing applications with privileged access to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure environments.” reads the post published by malwarebytes. “After an extensive investigation, we determined the attacker only gained access to a limited subset of internal company emails. We found no evidence of unauthorized access or compromise in any of our internal on-premises and production environments.”

On December 15, Microsoft Security Response Center warned the security firm of suspicious activity from a third-party application in its Microsoft Office 365 tenant. The activity was consistent with the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of the SolarWinds attackers.

Malwarebytes said it learned of the intrusion from the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) on December 15.

With the support of Microsoft’s Detection and Response Team (DART), Malwarebytes discovered that the attackers leveraged a dormant email protection product within our Office 365 tenant that allowed access to a limited subset of internal company emails. The security firms explained that it does not use Azure cloud services in its production environments.

Malwarebytes performed a deep investigation through its infrastructure, inspecting its source code, build and delivery processes, but it confirmed that internal systems showed no evidence of unauthorized access or compromise. This means that the customers of the security firm were not impacted using its anti-malware solution.

“While we have learned a lot of information in a relatively short period of time, there is much more yet to be discovered about this long and active campaign that has impacted so many high-profile targets,” concludes the company.

“It is imperative that security companies continue to share information that can help the greater industry in times like these, particularly with such new
and complex attacks often associated with nation state actors.”

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