A vulnerability in a popular data transfer tool has resulted in a mass ransomware attack:
TechCrunch has learned of dozens of organizations that used the affected GoAnywhere file transfer software at the time of the ransomware attack, suggesting more victims are likely to come forward.
However, while the number of victims of the mass-hack is widening, the known impact is murky at best.
Since the attack in late January or early February—the exact date is not known—Clop has disclosed less than half of the 130 organizations it claimed to have compromised via GoAnywhere, a system that can be hosted in the cloud or on an organization’s network that allows companies to securely transfer huge sets of data and other large files.
Posted on March 23, 2023 at 7:05 AM •
Chainalysis reports that worldwide ransomware payments were down in 2022.
Ransomware attackers extorted at least $456.8 million from victims in 2022, down from $765.6 million the year before.
As always, we have to caveat these findings by noting that the true totals are much higher, as there are cryptocurrency addresses controlled by ransomware attackers that have yet to be identified on the blockchain and incorporated into our data. When we published last year’s version of this report, for example, we had only identified $602 million in ransomware payments in 2021. Still, the trend is clear: Ransomware payments are significantly down.
However, that doesn’t mean attacks are down, or at least not as much as the drastic drop-off in payments would suggest. Instead, we believe that much of the decline is due to victim organizations increasingly refusing to pay ransomware attackers.
Posted on January 31, 2023 at 7:03 AM •
Kaspersky is reporting on a data wiper masquerading as ransomware that is targeting local Russian government networks.
The Trojan corrupts any data that’s not vital for the functioning of the operating system. It doesn’t affect files with extensions .exe, .dll, .lnk, .sys or .msi, and ignores several system folders in the C:\Windows directory. The malware focuses on databases, archives, and user documents.
So far, our experts have seen only pinpoint attacks on targets in the Russian Federation. However, as usual, no one can guarantee that the same code won’t be used against other targets.
Nothing leading to an attribution.
Posted on December 6, 2022 at 7:04 AM •
Brian Krebs writes about how the Zeppelin ransomware encryption scheme was broken:
The researchers said their break came when they understood that while Zeppelin used three different types of encryption keys to encrypt files, they could undo the whole scheme by factoring or computing just one of them: An ephemeral RSA-512 public key that is randomly generated on each machine it infects.
“If we can recover the RSA-512 Public Key from the registry, we can crack it and get the 256-bit AES Key that encrypts the files!” they wrote. “The challenge was that they delete the [public key] once the files are fully encrypted. Memory analysis gave us about a 5-minute window after files were encrypted to retrieve this public key.”
Unit 221B ultimately built a “Live CD” version of Linux that victims could run on infected systems to extract that RSA-512 key. From there, they would load the keys into a cluster of 800 CPUs donated by hosting giant Digital Ocean that would then start cracking them. The company also used that same donated infrastructure to help victims decrypt their data using the recovered keys.
A company offered recovery services based on this break, but was reluctant to advertise because it didn’t want Zeppelin’s creators to fix their encryption flaw.
EDITED TO ADD (12/12): When BitDefender publicly advertised a decryption tool for a strain of DarkSide ransomware, DarkSide immediately updated its ransomware to render the tool obsolete. It’s hard to come up with a solution to this problem.
Posted on November 21, 2022 at 7:08 AM •
The International Committee of the Red Cross wants some digital equivalent to the iconic red cross, to alert would-be hackers that they are accessing a medical network.
The emblem wouldn’t provide technical cybersecurity protection to hospitals, Red Cross infrastructure or other medical providers, but it would signal to hackers that a cyberattack on those protected networks during an armed conflict would violate international humanitarian law, experts say, Tilman Rodenhäuser, a legal adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross, said at a panel discussion hosted by the organization on Thursday.
I can think of all sorts of problems with this idea and many reasons why it won’t work, but those also apply to the physical red cross on buildings, vehicles, and people’s clothing. So let’s try it.
EDITED TO ADD: Original reference.
Posted on November 14, 2022 at 6:38 AM •
This article makes LockBit sound like a legitimate organization:
The DDoS attack last weekend that put a temporary stop to leaking Entrust data was seen as an opportunity to explore the triple extortion tactic to apply more pressure on victims to pay a ransom.
LockBitSupp said that the ransomware operator is now looking to add DDoS as an extortion tactic on top of encrypting data and leaking it.
“I am looking for dudosers [DDoSers] in the team, most likely now we will attack targets and provide triple extortion, encryption + date leak + dudos, because I have felt the power of dudos and how it invigorates and makes life more interesting,” LockBitSupp wrote in a post on a hacker forum.
The gang also promised to share over torrent 300GB of data stolen from Entrust so “the whole world will know your secrets.”
LockBit’s spokesperson said that they would share the Entrust data leak privately with anyone that contacts them before making it available over torrent.
They’re expanding: locking people out of their data, publishing it if the victim doesn’t pay, and DDoSing their network as an additional incentive.
Posted on September 7, 2022 at 9:26 AM •
Details are few, but Montenegro has suffered a cyberattack:
A combination of ransomware and distributed denial-of-service attacks, the onslaught disrupted government services and prompted the country’s electrical utility to switch to manual control.
But the attack against Montenegro’s infrastructure seemed more sustained and extensive, with targets including water supply systems, transportation services and online government services, among many others.
Government officials in the country of just over 600,000 people said certain government services remained temporarily disabled for security reasons and that the data of citizens and businesses were not endangered.
The Director of the Directorate for Information Security, Dusan Polovic, said 150 computers were infected with malware at a dozen state institutions and that the data of the Ministry of Public Administration was not permanently damaged. Polovic said some retail tax collection was affected.
Russia is being blamed, but I haven’t seen any evidence other than “they’re the obvious perpetrator.”
EDITED TO ADD (9/12): The Montenegro government is hedging on that Russia attribution. It seems to be a regular criminal ransomware attack. The Cuba Ransomware gang has Russian members, but that’s not the same thing as the government.
Posted on September 2, 2022 at 8:18 AM •
Both Google and Mandiant are reporting a significant increase in the number of zero-day vulnerabilities reported in 2021.
2021 included the detection and disclosure of 58 in-the-wild 0-days, the most ever recorded since Project Zero began tracking in mid-2014. That’s more than double the previous maximum of 28 detected in 2015 and especially stark when you consider that there were only 25 detected in 2020. We’ve tracked publicly known in-the-wild 0-day exploits in this spreadsheet since mid-2014.
While we often talk about the number of 0-day exploits used in-the-wild, what we’re actually discussing is the number of 0-day exploits detected and disclosed as in-the-wild. And that leads into our first conclusion: we believe the large uptick in in-the-wild 0-days in 2021 is due to increased detection and disclosure of these 0-days, rather than simply increased usage of 0-day exploits.
In 2021, Mandiant Threat Intelligence identified 80 zero-days exploited in the wild, which is more than double the previous record volume in 2019. State-sponsored groups continue to be the primary actors exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, led by Chinese groups. The proportion of financially motivated actors—particularly ransomware groups—deploying zero-day exploits also grew significantly, and nearly 1 in 3 identified actors exploiting zero-days in 2021 was financially motivated. Threat actors exploited zero-days in Microsoft, Apple, and Google products most frequently, likely reflecting the popularity of these vendors. The vast increase in zero-day exploitation in 2021, as well as the diversification of actors using them, expands the risk portfolio for organizations in nearly every industry sector and geography, particularly those that rely on these popular systems.
Posted on April 27, 2022 at 1:40 PM •
Based on two years of leaked messages, 60,000 in all:
The Conti ransomware gang runs like any number of businesses around the world. It has multiple departments, from HR and administrators to coders and researchers. It has policies on how its hackers should process their code, and shares best practices to keep the group’s members hidden from law enforcement.
Posted on March 29, 2022 at 6:02 AM •
This will be law soon:
Companies critical to U.S. national interests will now have to report when they’re hacked or they pay ransomware, according to new rules approved by Congress.
The reporting requirement legislation was approved by the House and the Senate on Thursday and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden soon. It requires any entity that’s considered part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, which includes the finance, transportation and energy sectors, to report any “substantial cyber incident” to the government within three days and any ransomware payment made within 24 hours.
Even better would be if they had to report it to the public.
Posted on March 15, 2022 at 6:01 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.