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Wednesday, 27 January 2021 09:09

Mimecast admits certificate compromise tied to SolarWinds supply chain attack Featured

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Mimecast admits certificate compromise tied to SolarWinds supply chain attack Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

Email security firm Mimecast has admitted that the compromise of a certificate it had issued for some Microsoft services is connected to the SolarWinds supply chain incident.

The company said on Tuesday that internal investigations had showed that the incident was perpetrated by the same threat actor who had been behind the compromise of the Orion network management software sold by SolarWinds.

When Mimecast initially announced the incident on 13 January, it said it had been informed by Microsoft that a certificate it issued for authentication of Mimecast Sync and Recover, Continuity Monitor, and IEP products to Microsoft 365 Exchange Web Services had been compromised.

At the time, Mimecast said about 10% of its customers used such connections but did not provide a number. According to Reuters, Mimecast has more than 36,000 customers.

"As we previously shared, when Microsoft informed us about the compromise of a Mimecast-issued certificate used to authenticate a subset of Mimecast’s products, we advised affected customers to break and re-establish their connections with newly issued keys," the company said in Tuesday's statement.

"The vast majority of these customers have taken this action, and Microsoft has now disabled use of the former connection keys for all affected Mimecast customers."

Mimecast said it had now confirmed that the incident was related to the SolarWinds Orion software compromise.

"Our investigation also showed that the threat actor accessed, and potentially exfiltrated, certain encrypted service account credentials created by customers hosted in the US and the UK," the company said.

"These credentials establish connections from Mimecast tenants to on-premise and cloud services, which include LDAP, Azure Active Directory, Exchange Web Services, POP3 journalling, and SMTP-authenticated delivery routes."

Customers had been advised to reset their credentials, Mimecast added.

The SolarWinds incident came to light after cyber security firm FireEye disclosed on 9 December AEDT that it had been compromised and had its Red Team tools stolen.

Five days later, FireEye published details about attacks using malware which it called SUNBURST; it said this malware had been used to hit both private and public entities, by corrupting the Orion network management software, a product of SolarWinds.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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