The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: ransomware

Ex-Canadian Government Employee Pleads Guilty Over NetWalker Ransomware Attacks

Ex-Canadian Government Employee Pleads Guilty Over NetWalker Ransomware Attacks

June 30, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A former Canadian government employee this week agreed to plead guilty in the U.S. to charges related to his involvement with the NetWalker ransomware syndicate. Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins , who was  extradited to the U.S.  on March 10, 2022, is accused of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. The 34-year-old IT consultant from Gatineau, Quebec, was initially apprehended in January 2021 following a coordinated  law enforcement operation  to dismantle the dark web infrastructure used by the NetWalker ransomware cybercrime group to publish data siphoned from its victims. The takedown also brought its activities to a standstill. A search warrant executed at Vachon-Desjardins's home in Canada resulted in the seizure of 719 bitcoin, valued at approximately $28.1 million at the time, and $790,000 in Canadian currency. In February 2022, the Ontario Court o
Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Emerging Threat of "Black Basta" Ransomware

Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Emerging Threat of "Black Basta" Ransomware

June 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Black Basta ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) syndicate has amassed nearly 50 victims in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand within two months of its emergence in the wild, making it a prominent threat in a short window. "Black Basta has been observed targeting a range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, transportation, telcos, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plumbing and heating, automobile dealers, undergarments manufacturers, and more," Cybereason  said  in a report. Evidence indicates the ransomware strain was still in development as recently as February 2022, and only started to be used in attacks starting April after it was advertised on underground forums with an intent to buy and monetize corporate network access for a share of the profits. Similar to other ransomware operations, Black Basta is known to employ the tried-and-tested tactic of double extortion to plunder sensitive information from the targets and threaten to publish
Hackers Exploit Mitel VoIP Zero-Day in Likely Ransomware Attack

Hackers Exploit Mitel VoIP Zero-Day in Likely Ransomware Attack

June 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A suspected ransomware intrusion attempt against an unnamed target leveraged a Mitel VoIP appliance as an entry point to achieve remote code execution and gain initial access to the environment. The  findings  come from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which traced the source of the attack to a Linux-based Mitel VoIP device sitting on the network perimeter, while also identifying a previously unknown exploit as well as a couple of anti-forensic measures adopted by the actor on the device to erase traces of their actions. The zero-day exploit in question is tracked as CVE-2022-29499 and was fixed by Mitel in April 2022 by means of a remediation script that it shared with customers. It's rated 9.8 out of 10 for severity on the CVSS vulnerability scoring system, making it a critical shortcoming. "A vulnerability has been identified in the Mitel Service Appliance component of MiVoice Connect (Mitel Service Appliances – SA 100, SA 400, and Virtual SA) which could allow a malic
State-Backed Hackers Using Ransomware as a Decoy for Cyber Espionage Attacks

State-Backed Hackers Using Ransomware as a Decoy for Cyber Espionage Attacks

June 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A China-based advanced persistent threat (APT) group is possibly deploying short-lived ransomware families as a decoy to cover up the true operational and tactical objectives behind its campaigns. The activity cluster, attributed to a hacking group dubbed  Bronze Starlight  by Secureworks, involves the deployment of post-intrusion ransomware such as LockFile, Atom Silo, Rook, Night Sky, Pandora, and LockBit 2.0. "The ransomware could distract incident responders from identifying the threat actors' true intent and reduce the likelihood of attributing the malicious activity to a government-sponsored Chinese threat group," the researchers  said  in a new report. "In each case, the ransomware targets a small number of victims over a relatively brief period of time before it ceases operations, apparently permanently." Bronze Starlight, active since mid-2021, is also tracked by Microsoft under the emerging threat cluster moniker DEV-0401, with the tech giant empha
Critical PHP Vulnerability Exposes QNAP NAS Devices to Remote Attacks

Critical PHP Vulnerability Exposes QNAP NAS Devices to Remote Attacks

June 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
QNAP, Taiwanese maker of network-attached storage (NAS) devices, on Wednesday said it's in the process of fixing a critical three-year-old PHP vulnerability that could be abused to achieve remote code execution. "A vulnerability has been reported to affect PHP versions 7.1.x below 7.1.33, 7.2.x below 7.2.24, and 7.3.x below 7.3.11 with improper nginx config," the hardware vendor  said  in an advisory. "If exploited, the vulnerability allows attackers to gain remote code execution." The vulnerability, tracked as  CVE-2019-11043 , is rated 9.8 out of 10 for severity on the CVSS vulnerability scoring system. That said, it's required that Nginx and php-fpm are running in appliances using the following QNAP operating system versions - QTS 5.0.x and later QTS 4.5.x and later QuTS hero h5.0.x and later QuTS hero h4.5.x and later QuTScloud c5.0.x and later "As QTS, QuTS hero or QuTScloud does not have nginx installed by default, QNAP NAS are not aff
Mitigate Ransomware in a Remote-First World

Mitigate Ransomware in a Remote-First World

June 21, 2022The Hacker News
Ransomware has been a thorn in the side of cybersecurity teams for years. With the move to remote and hybrid work, this insidious threat has become even more of a challenge for  organizations everywhere. 2021 was a case study in ransomware due to the wide variety of attacks, significant financial and economic impact, and diverse ways that organizations responded.  These attacks  should be seen as a lesson that can inform future security strategies to mitigate ransomware risk. As an organization continues to evolve, so should its security strategy. The Remote Environment Is Primed for Ransomware With organizations continuing to support remote and hybrid work, they no longer have the visibility and control they once had inside their perimeter. Attackers are  exploiting this weakness  and profiting. Here are three reasons they're able to do so: Visibility and control have changed.  Most organizations now have employees working from anywhere. These employees expect seamless access to
Do You Have Ransomware Insurance? Look at the Fine Print

Do You Have Ransomware Insurance? Look at the Fine Print

June 20, 2022The Hacker News
Insurance exists to protect the insured party against catastrophe, but the insurer needs protection so that its policies are not abused – and that's where the fine print comes in. However, in the case of ransomware insurance, the fine print is becoming contentious and arguably undermining the usefulness of ransomware insurance. In this article, we'll outline why, particularly given the current climate, war exclusion clauses are increasingly rendering ransomware insurance of reduced value – and why your organization should focus on protecting itself instead. What is ransomware insurance In recent years, ransomware insurance has grown as a product field because organizations are trying to buy protection against the catastrophic effects of a successful ransomware attack. Why try to buy insurance? Well, a single, successful attack can just about wipe out a large organization, or lead to crippling costs –  NotPetya alone led to a total of $10bn in damages .  Ransomware attacks
Atlassian Confluence Flaw Being Used to Deploy Ransomware and Crypto Miners

Atlassian Confluence Flaw Being Used to Deploy Ransomware and Crypto Miners

June 17, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A recently patched  critical security flaw  in Atlassian Confluence Server and Data Center products is being actively weaponized in real-world attacks to drop cryptocurrency miners and ransomware payloads. In at least two of the Windows-related incidents observed by cybersecurity vendor Sophos, adversaries exploited the vulnerability to deliver Cerber ransomware and a  crypto miner  called z0miner on victim networks. The bug ( CVE-2022-26134 , CVSS score: 9.8), which was  patched  by Atlassian on June 3, 2022, enables an unauthenticated actor to inject malicious code that paves the way of remote code execution (RCE) on affected installations of the collaboration suite. All supported versions of Confluence Server and Data Center are affected. Other notable malware pushed as part of disparate instances of attack activity include Mirai and Kinsing bot variants, a rogue package called  pwnkit , and Cobalt Strike by way of a web shell deployed after gaining an initial foothold into the
BlackCat Ransomware Gang Targeting Unpatched Microsoft Exchange Servers

BlackCat Ransomware Gang Targeting Unpatched Microsoft Exchange Servers

June 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft is warning that the BlackCat ransomware crew is leveraging exploits for  unpatched Exchange server  vulnerabilities to gain access to targeted networks. Upon gaining an entry point, the attackers swiftly moved to gather information about the compromised machines, followed by carrying out credential theft and lateral movement activities, before harvesting intellectual property and dropping the ransomware payload. The entire sequence of events played out over the course of two full weeks, the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team  said  in a report published this week. "In another incident we observed, we found that a ransomware affiliate gained initial access to the environment via an internet-facing Remote Desktop server using compromised credentials to sign in," the researchers said, pointing out how "no two BlackCat 'lives' or deployments might look the same." BlackCat , also known by the names ALPHV and Noberus, is a relatively n
A Microsoft Office 365 Feature Could Help Ransomware Hackers Hold Cloud Files Hostage

A Microsoft Office 365 Feature Could Help Ransomware Hackers Hold Cloud Files Hostage

June 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A "dangerous piece of functionality" has been discovered in Microsoft 365 suite that could be potentially abused by a malicious actor to mount attacks on cloud infrastructure and ransom files stored on SharePoint and OneDrive. The cloud ransomware attack makes it possible to launch file-encrypting malware to "encrypt files stored on SharePoint and OneDrive in a way that makes them unrecoverable without dedicated backups or a decryption key from the attacker," Proofpoint  said  in a report published today. The infection sequence can be carried out using a combination of Microsoft APIs, command-line interface (CLI) scripts, and PowerShell scripts, the enterprise security firm added. The attack, at its core, hinges on a Microsoft 365 feature called AutoSave that creates copies of older file versions as and when users make edits to a file stored on OneDrive or SharePoint Online. It commences with gaining unauthorized access to a target user's SharePoint Online
HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

June 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Windows and Linux systems are being targeted by a ransomware variant called HelloXD, with the infections also involving the deployment of a backdoor to facilitate persistent remote access to infected hosts. "Unlike other ransomware groups, this ransomware family doesn't have an active leak site; instead it prefers to direct the impacted victim to negotiations through  Tox chat  and onion-based messenger instances," Daniel Bunce and Doel Santos, security researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42,  said  in a new write-up. HelloXD  surfaced in the wild on November 30, 2021, and is based off leaked code from Babuk, which was  published  on a Russian-language cybercrime forum in September 2021. The ransomware family is no exception to the norm in that the operators follow the tried-and-tested approach of  double extortion  to demand cryptocurrency payments by exfiltrating a victim's sensitive data in addition to encrypting it and threatening to publicize the inform
Evil Corp Cybercrime Group Shifts to LockBit Ransomware to Evade Sanctions

Evil Corp Cybercrime Group Shifts to LockBit Ransomware to Evade Sanctions

June 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The threat cluster dubbed UNC2165, which shares numerous overlaps with a Russia-based cybercrime group known as Evil Corp, has been linked to multiple LockBit ransomware intrusions in what's seen as an attempt by the latter to get around  sanctions  imposed by the U.S. Treasury in December 2019. "These actors have shifted away from using exclusive ransomware variants to LockBit — a well-known ransomware as a service (RaaS) — in their operations, likely to hinder attribution efforts in order to evade sanctions," threat intelligence firm Mandiant  noted  in an analysis last week. Active since 2019, UNC2165 is known to obtain initial access to victim networks via stolen credentials and a JavaScript-based downloader malware called  FakeUpdates  (aka SocGholish), leveraging it to previously deploy  Hades  ransomware. Hades is the work of a financially motivated hacking group named Evil Corp, which is also called by the monikers Gold Drake and Indrik Spider and has been at
Hacking Scenarios: How Hackers Choose Their Victims

Hacking Scenarios: How Hackers Choose Their Victims

June 07, 2022The Hacker News
Enforcing the "double-extortion" technique aka pay-now-or-get-breached emerged as a head-turner last year.  May 6th, 2022 is a recent example. The State Department said the Conti strain of ransomware was the most costly in terms of payments made by victims as of January . Conti, a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) program, is one of the most notorious ransomware groups and has been responsible for infecting hundreds of servers with malware to gain corporate data or digital damage systems, essentially spreading misery to individuals and hospitals, businesses, government agencies and more all over the world. So, how different is a  ransomware attack  like Conti from the infamous "WannaCry" or "NotPetya"? While other Ransomware variants can spread fast and encrypt files within short time frames, Conti ransomware has demonstrated unmatched speed by which it can access victims' systems. Given the recent spate of data breaches, it is extremely challengin
Conti Leaks Reveal Ransomware Gang's Interest in Firmware-based Attacks

Conti Leaks Reveal Ransomware Gang's Interest in Firmware-based Attacks

June 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An analysis of  leaked chats  from the notorious  Conti ransomware group  earlier this year has revealed that the syndicate has been working on a set of firmware attack techniques that could offer a path to accessing privileged code on compromised devices. "Control over firmware gives attackers virtually unmatched powers both to directly cause damage and to enable other long-term strategic goals," firmware and hardware security firm Eclypsium  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Such level of access would allow an adversary to cause irreparable damage to a system or to establish ongoing persistence that is virtually invisible to the operating system." Specifically, this includes attacks aimed at embedded microcontrollers such as the Intel  Management Engine  ( ME ), a privileged component that's part of the company's processor chipsets and which can completely bypass the operating system. It's worth noting that the reason for this evolv
Researchers Demonstrate Ransomware for IoT Devices That Targets IT and OT Networks

Researchers Demonstrate Ransomware for IoT Devices That Targets IT and OT Networks

June 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
As ransomware infections have evolved from purely encrypting data to schemes such as double and triple extortion, a new attack vector is likely to set the stage for future campaigns. Called Ransomware for IoT or  R4IoT  by Forescout, it's a "novel, proof-of-concept ransomware that exploits an IoT device to gain access and move laterally in an IT [information technology] network and impact the OT [operational technology] network." This potential pivot is based on the rapid growth in the number of IoT devices as well as the convergence of IT and OT networks in organizations. The ultimate goal of R4IoT is to leverage exposed and vulnerable IoT devices such as IP cameras to gain an initial foothold, followed by deploying ransomware in the IT network and taking advantage of poor operational security practices to hold mission-critical processes hostage. "By compromising IoT, IT, and OT assets, R4IoT goes beyond the usual encryption and data exfiltration to cause phys
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.