A Microsoft R&D campus building in Hyderabad, India. (prashanth dara, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Microsoft is reportedly investigating whether hackers who have been abusing a series of Microsoft Exchange bugs managed to obtain sensitive information about the vulnerabilities after Microsoft privately shared certain details, including proof-of-concept exploit code, with various security partners.

It’s possible that one of these partners accidentally or intentionally leaked details to additional entities, until key details somehow fell into the hands of attackers, according to a report by Wall Street Journal report on Monday. Whether this scenario bears out as true or not, the story leads to a number of interesting questions regarding how companies determine which partners to share sensitive bug info with and which ones to exclude from that intel because the risks outweigh the benefits. Also, if a business partner did leak the critical information, what should be the consequences?

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