According to a security expert, the Electoral Commission (EC) data breach may have been facilitated by the exploitation of a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange. The EC was running Microsoft Exchange Server with Outlook Web App facing the internet. The server was visible online until at least late September 2022, after which it dropped offline. This period corresponds with the discovery of an exploit known as ProxyNotShell, which, at the time, no security patch was available. The version of Microsoft Exchange Server that was running indicates the EC was applying security patches quickly during this time. It wasn't until November 2022 that Microsoft delivered a security update that finally resolved the vulnerability issue.
After Information Commissioner John Edwards retweeted an X post suggesting MS was to blame for the attack, a post by Robert Bateman asked whether this could be a preview of how the ICO could approach questions of controller/processor liability for failing to meet obligations under Article 32 of the General Data Protection Regulation.
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