Sophos shutters partner portal after hack attack

Suspicious software found on security firm's servers


Sophos has shut down its portal for partners after finding two software packages on its servers designed to allow access to them – and possibly to user data stored there, as well.

The security software firm posted a statement on the portal explaining that it had spotted suspicious behavior on some of its servers this Tuesday. An investigation revealed two dodgy applications, which a preliminary examination suggests are designed to harvest login information. Sophos shut the portal down, just to be on the safe side.

"We don't believe anything was stolen, but are proceeding with an abundance of caution," Chet Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos told The Register. "It will remain offline while we are completing our investigation. We will bring it back online once we are sure it is safe to do so."

Sophos says that the system stored partners' names and business addresses, email addresses, contact details, and hashed passwords, and that only its old portal, and not the latest SFDC, system was breached. When it's back up and running (which, given the Holy Week holiday, is unlikely to be before next week) users will be asked to reset passwords as a precaution.

"We realize that the site's downtime and the forced password resets may be an overreaction and are sorry for the disruption this will cause, but we would rather cause some inconvenience at this stage than delay as we wait for further information," the advisory reads.

While this kind of thing is embarrassing for any security firm, Sophos isn't alone in having its systems breached recently. A leak from Microsoft's Active Protections Program (MAPP) last month saw attack code released onto the web, and Symantec has also admitted that some of its source code has gone missing at the start of the year, following a leak at a third-party supplier. ®

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