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Russian Hacker Dmitry Khoroshev Unmasked as LockBit Ransomware Administrator

Russian Hacker Dmitry Khoroshev Unmasked as LockBit Ransomware Administrator
May 07, 2024 Ransomware / Cybercrime
The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) has unmasked the administrator and developer of the LockBit ransomware operation, revealing it to be a 31-year-old Russian national named  Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev . In addition, Khoroshev has been sanctioned  by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCD), the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. Europol, in a  press statement , said authorities are in possession of over 2,500 decryption keys and are continuing to contact LockBit victims to offer support. Khoroshev, who went by the monikers LockBitSupp and putinkrab, has also become the subject of asset freezes and travel bans, with the U.S. Department of State offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction. Previously, the agency had  announced  reward offers of up to $15 million seeking information leading to the identity and location of k

Akira Ransomware Gang Extorts $42 Million; Now Targets Linux Servers

Akira Ransomware Gang Extorts $42 Million; Now Targets Linux Servers
Apr 19, 2024 Ransomware / Endpoint Security
Threat actors behind the Akira ransomware group have extorted approximately $42 million in illicit proceeds after breaching the networks of more than 250 victims as of January 1, 2024. "Since March 2023, Akira ransomware has impacted a wide range of businesses and critical infrastructure entities in North America, Europe, and Australia," cybersecurity agencies from the Netherlands and the U.S., along with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3),  said  in a joint alert. "In April 2023, following an initial focus on Windows systems, Akira threat actors deployed a Linux variant targeting VMware ESXi virtual machines." The double-extortion group has been observed using a C++ variant of the locker in the early stages, before shifting to a Rust-based code as of August 2023. It's worth noting that the e-crime actor is  completely different  from the Akira ransomware family that was active in 2017. Initial access to target networks is facilitated by means o

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means
Apr 08, 2024 Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys

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A SaaS Security Challenge: Getting Permissions All in One Place 

A SaaS Security Challenge: Getting Permissions All in One Place
May 08, 2024Attack Surface / SaaS Security
Permissions in SaaS platforms like Salesforce, Workday, and Microsoft 365 are remarkably precise. They spell out exactly which users have access to which data sets. The terminology differs between apps, but each user's base permission is determined by their role, while additional permissions may be granted based on tasks or projects they are involved with. Layered on top of that are custom permissions required by an individual user.  For example, look at a sales rep who is involved in a tiger team investigating churn while also training two new employees. The sales rep's role would grant her one set of permissions to access prospect data, while the tiger team project would grant access to existing customer data. Meanwhile, special permissions are set up, providing the sales rep with visibility into the accounts of the two new employees. While these permissions are precise, however, they are also very complex. Application admins don't have a single screen within these applications th

New Phishing Campaign Targets Oil & Gas with Evolved Data-Stealing Malware

New Phishing Campaign Targets Oil & Gas with Evolved Data-Stealing Malware
Apr 04, 2024 Phishing Attack / Malware
An updated version of an information-stealing malware called Rhadamanthys is being used in phishing campaigns targeting the oil and gas sector. "The phishing emails use a unique vehicle incident lure and, in later stages of the infection chain, spoof the Federal Bureau of Transportation in a PDF that mentions a significant fine for the incident," Cofense researcher Dylan Duncan  said . The email message comes with a malicious link that leverages an open redirect flaw to take the recipients to a link hosting a supposed PDF document, but, in reality, is an image that, upon clicking, downloads a ZIP archive with the stealer payload. Written in C++,  Rhadamanthys  is designed to establish connections with a command-and-control (C2) server in order to harvest sensitive data from the compromised hosts. "This campaign appeared within days of the law enforcement takedown of the LockBit ransomware group," Duncan said. "While this could be a coincidence, Trend Micr

German Police Seize 'Nemesis Market' in Major International Darknet Raid

German Police Seize 'Nemesis Market' in Major International Darknet Raid
Mar 24, 2024 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
German authorities have announced the takedown of an illicit underground marketplace called  Nemesis Market  that peddled narcotics, stolen data, and various cybercrime services. The Federal Criminal Police Office (aka Bundeskriminalamt or BKA) said it seized the digital infrastructure associated with the darknet service located in Germany and Lithuania and confiscated €94,000 ($102,107) in cryptocurrency assets. The operation, conducted in collaboration with law enforcement agencies from Germany, Lithuania, and the U.S., took place on March 20, 2024, following an extensive investigation that commenced in October 2022. Founded in 2021, Nemesis Market is estimated to have had more than 150,000 user accounts and 1,100 seller accounts from all over the world prior to its shutdown. Almost 20$ of the seller accounts were from Germany. "The range of goods available on the marketplace included narcotics, fraudulently obtained data and goods, as well as a selection of cybercrime serv

TeamCity Flaw Leads to Surge in Ransomware, Cryptomining, and RAT Attacks

TeamCity Flaw Leads to Surge in Ransomware, Cryptomining, and RAT Attacks
Mar 20, 2024 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
Multiple threat actors are exploiting the recently disclosed security flaws in JetBrains TeamCity software to deploy ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, Cobalt Strike beacons, and a Golang-based remote access trojan called Spark RAT. The attacks entail the exploitation of  CVE-2024-27198  (CVSS score: 9.8) that enables an adversary to bypass authentication measures and gain administrative control over affected servers. "The attackers are then able to install malware that can reach out to its command-and-control (C&C) server and perform additional commands such as deploying Cobalt Strike beacons and remote access trojans (RATs)," Trend Micro  said  in a new report. "Ransomware can then be installed as a final payload to encrypt files and demand ransom payments from victims." Following public disclosure of the flaw earlier this month, it has been weaponized by threat actors associated with  BianLian  and  Jasmin ransomware  families, as well as to drop the XMR

LockBit Ransomware Hacker Ordered to Pay $860,000 After Guilty Plea in Canada

LockBit Ransomware Hacker Ordered to Pay $860,000 After Guilty Plea in Canada
Mar 14, 2024 Ransomware / Cyber Crime
A 34-year-old Russian-Canadian national has been sentenced to nearly four years in jail in Canada for his participation in the LockBit global ransomware operation. Mikhail Vasiliev , an Ontario resident, was  originally arrested  in November 2022 and charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) with "conspiring with others to intentionally damage protected computers and to transmit ransom demands in connection with doing so." News of Vasiliev's jail term was  first reported  by CTV News.  The defendant, who had his home searched by Canadian law enforcement authorities in August and October 2022, is said to have kept a list of "prospective or historical" victims and screenshots of communications exchanged with "LockBitSupp" on the Tox messaging platform. The raid also uncovered a text file with instructions to deploy LockBit ransomware, the ransomware source code, and a control panel used by the e-crime group to deliver the file-locking malware.

Authorities Claim LockBit Admin "LockBitSupp" Has Engaged with Law Enforcement

Authorities Claim LockBit Admin "LockBitSupp" Has Engaged with Law Enforcement
Feb 25, 2024 Cybercrime / Ransomware
LockBitSupp, the individual(s) behind the persona representing the LockBit ransomware service on cybercrime forums such as Exploit and XSS, "has engaged with law enforcement," authorities said. The development comes following the  takedown  of the prolific ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation as part of a coordinated international operation codenamed Cronos. Over 14,000 rogue accounts on third-party services like Mega, Protonmail, and Tutanota used by the criminals have been shuttered. "We know who he is. We know where he lives. We know how much he is worth. LockbitSupp has engaged with law enforcement," according to a  message  posted on the now-seized (and offline) dark web data leak site. The move has been  interpreted  by long-term watchers of LockBit as an attempt to create suspicion and sow the seeds of distrust among affiliates, ultimately undermining trust in the group within the cybercrime ecosystem. According to research published by Analyst1 in A

U.S. Offers $15 Million Bounty to Hunt Down LockBit Ransomware Leaders

U.S. Offers $15 Million Bounty to Hunt Down LockBit Ransomware Leaders
Feb 22, 2024 Ransomware / Cybercrime
The U.S. State Department has announced monetary rewards of up to $15 million for information that could lead to the identification of key leaders within the LockBit ransomware group and the arrest of any individual participating in the operation. "Since January 2020, LockBit actors have executed over 2,000 attacks against victims in the United States, and around the world, causing costly disruptions to operations and the destruction or exfiltration of sensitive information," the State Department  said . "More than $144 million in ransom payments have been made to recover from LockBit ransomware events." The development comes as a sweeping law enforcement operation led by the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA)  disrupted  LockBit, a Russia-linked ransomware gang that has been active for more than four years, wreaking havoc on business and critical infrastructure entities around the world. Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operations like LockBit and others work by e

LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released

LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released
Feb 20, 2024 Ransomware / Data Protection
The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday confirmed that it obtained LockBit's source code as well as a wealth of intelligence pertaining to its activities and their affiliates as part of a dedicated task force called  Operation Cronos . "Some of the data on LockBit's systems belonged to victims who had paid a ransom to the threat actors, evidencing that even when a ransom is paid, it does not guarantee that data will be deleted, despite what the criminals have promised," the agency  said . It also announced the arrest of two LockBit actors in Poland and Ukraine. Over 200 cryptocurrency accounts linked to the group have been frozen. Indictments and sanctions have also been unsealed in the U.S. against two other Russian nationals who are alleged to have carried out LockBit attacks. Artur Sungatov and Ivan Gennadievich Kondratiev (aka Bassterlord) have been accused of deploying LockBit against numerous victims throughout the U.S., including businesses nationw

LockBit Ransomware's Darknet Domains Seized in Global Law Enforcement Raid

LockBit Ransomware's Darknet Domains Seized in Global Law Enforcement Raid
Feb 20, 2024 Dark Web / Cybercrime
Update: The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) has confirmed the takedown of LockBit infrastructure. Read here for more details . An international law enforcement operation has led to the seizure of multiple darknet domains operated by  LockBit , one of the most prolific ransomware groups, marking the latest in a long list of digital takedowns. While the full extent of the effort, codenamed  Operation Cronos , is presently unknown, visiting the group's .onion website displays a seizure banner containing the message "The site is now under the control of law enforcement." Authorities from 11 countries, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S., alongside Europol participated in the joint exercise. Malware research group VX-Underground, in a  message  posted on X (formerly Twitter), said the websites were taken down by exploiting a critical security flaw impacting PHP ( CVE-2023-3824 , CVSS score: 9.8
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