Sophos says attacker leveraged an ‘access permission issue’

Cybersecurity provider Sophos is telling an unknown number of customers their personal information may have been exposed by a hacker.

The ZDNet news service this morning reported that U.K.-based Sophos is telling customers that on Nov. 24, it learned from a security researcher of “an access permission issue in a tool used to store information on customers who have contacted Sophos Support.”

The exposed information included customer first and last names, email addresses, and in some cases a phone number.

Sophos told ZDNet it is implementing measures to ensure access permission settings are continuously secure.

This incident is a “colourful reminder that no one is immune from a human error exacerbated by the pandemic’s havoc and growing complexity of the modern threat landscape,” Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb said in a statement. “Continuous attack surface monitoring is the must-have solution to timely detect, respond and mitigate the growing complexity of IT infrastructure, human omissions and related misconfiguration.”

Because no highly sensitive information, such as banking, health or credit card data was reportedly exposed, the incident is unlikely to have any major consequences for the victims, Kolochenko argues. Many users that use organizations’ customer support commonly use central phone numbers or even fake emails that are of not much value to hackers, he added.

“Compared to the countless data breaches with disastrous consequence in 2020, this minor incident will unlikely attract the attention of law enforcement agencies or regulatory authorities,” he predicted. “Victims will, likewise, quite unlikely bring lawsuits, and those who will, will probably fail to prove damages and may merely count on statutory compensation if any.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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