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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: ransomware

Researchers Unearth Links Between SunCrypt and QNAPCrypt Ransomware

Researchers Unearth Links Between SunCrypt and QNAPCrypt Ransomware

March 02, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
SunCrypt, a ransomware strain that went on to infect several targets last year, may be an updated version of the QNAPCrypt ransomware, which targeted Linux-based file storage systems, according to new research. "While the two ransomware [families] are operated by distinct different threat actors on the dark web, there are strong technical connections in code reuse and techniques, linking the two ransomware to the same author,"  Intezer Lab  researcher Joakim Kennedy said in a malware analysis published today revealing the attackers' tactics on the dark web. First identified in July 2019,  QNAPCrypt  (or  eCh0raix ) is a ransomware family that was found to target Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices from Taiwanese companies QNAP Systems and Synology. The devices were compromised by brute-forcing weak credentials and exploiting known vulnerabilities with the goal of encrypting files found in the system. The ransomware has since been tracked to a Russian cybercrime
Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

March 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A framework notorious for delivering a banking Trojan has received a facelift to deploy a wider range of malware, including ransomware payloads. "The  Gootkit  malware family has been around more than half a decade – a mature Trojan with functionality centered around banking credential theft," Sophos researchers Gabor Szappanos and Andrew Brandt  said  in a write-up published today. "In recent years, almost as much effort has gone into improvement of its delivery method as has gone into the NodeJS-based malware itself." Dubbed "Gootloader," the expanded malware delivery system comes amid a surge in the number of infections targeting users in France, Germany, South Korea, and the U.S. First documented in 2014, Gootkit is a Javascript-based malware platform capable of carrying out an array of covert activities, including web injection, capturing keystrokes, taking screenshots, recording videos, as well as email and password theft. Over the years, the
Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

February 24, 2021The Hacker News
The cybersecurity world is constantly evolving to new forms of threats and vulnerabilities. But ransomware proves to be a different animal—most destructive, persistent, notoriously challenging to prevent, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Falling victim to a ransomware attack can cause significant data loss, data breach, operational downtime, costly recovery, legal consequences, and reputational damage. In this story, we have covered everything you need to know about ransomware and how it works. What is ransomware? Ransomware is a malicious program that gains control over the infected device, encrypts files, and blocks user access to the data or a system until a sum of money, or ransom, is paid. Crooks' scheme includes a ransom note—with amount and instructions on how to pay a ransom in return for the decryption key—or direct communication with the victim. While ransomware impacts businesses and institutions of every size and type, attackers often target healthcare, e
Authorities Seize Dark-Web Site Linked to the Netwalker Ransomware

Authorities Seize Dark-Web Site Linked to the Netwalker Ransomware

January 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
U.S. and Bulgarian authorities this week took control of the dark web site used by the NetWalker ransomware cybercrime group to publish data stolen from its victims. "We are striking back against the growing threat of ransomware by not only bringing criminal charges against the responsible actors, but also disrupting criminal online infrastructure and, wherever possible, recovering ransom payments extorted from victims,"  said  Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "Ransomware victims should know that coming forward to law enforcement as soon as possible after an attack can lead to significant results like those achieved in today's multi-faceted operation." In connection with the takedown, a Canadian national named Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins from the city of Gatineau was charged in the U.S. state of Florida for extorting $27.6 million in cryptocurrency from ransom payments. Separately, the
Intel Adds Hardware-Enabled Ransomware Detection to 11th Gen vPro Chips

Intel Adds Hardware-Enabled Ransomware Detection to 11th Gen vPro Chips

January 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Intel and Cybereason have partnered to build anti-ransomware defenses into the chipmaker's newly announced 11th generation Core  vPro  business-class processors. The hardware-based security enhancements are baked into Intel's vPro platform via its  Hardware Shield  and  Threat Detection Technology  (TDT), enabling profiling and detection of ransomware and other threats that have an impact on the CPU performance. "The joint solution represents the first instance where PC hardware plays a direct role in ransomware defenses to better protect enterprise endpoints from costly attacks," Cybereason  said . Exclusive to vPro, Intel Hardware Shield provides protections against firmware-level attacks targeting the  BIOS , thereby ensuring that the operating system (OS) runs on legitimate hardware as well as minimizing the risk of malicious code injection by locking down memory in the BIOS when the software is running to help prevent planted malware from compromising the OS
Healthcare Industry Witnessed 45% Spike in Cyber Attacks Since Nov 20

Healthcare Industry Witnessed 45% Spike in Cyber Attacks Since Nov 20

January 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cyberattacks targeting healthcare organizations have spiked by 45% since November 2020 as COVID-19 cases continue to increase globally. According to a new report published by Check Point Research today and shared with The Hacker News, this increase has made the sector the most targeted industry by cybercriminals when compared to an overall 22% increase in cyberattacks across all industry sectors worldwide seen during the same time period. The average number of weekly attacks in the healthcare sector reached 626 per organization in November as opposed to 430 the previous month, with attack vectors ranging from ransomware, botnets, remote code execution, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Ransomware attacks against hospitals also marked their biggest jump, with  Ryuk  and Sodinokibi emerging as the primary ransomware variants employed by various criminal groups. "The usage of Ryuk emphasizes the trend of having more targeted and tailored ransomware attacks rath
Ransomware Attackers Using SystemBC Malware With RAT and Tor Proxy

Ransomware Attackers Using SystemBC Malware With RAT and Tor Proxy

December 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybercriminals are increasingly outsourcing the task of deploying ransomware to affiliates using commodity malware and attack tools, according to new research. In a new analysis published by Sophos today and shared with The Hacker News, recent deployments of  Ryuk  and  Egregor  ransomware have involved the use of  SystemBC  backdoor to laterally move across the network and fetch additional payloads for further exploitation. Affiliates are typically threat actors responsible for gaining an initial foothold in a target network. "SystemBC is a regular part of recent ransomware attackers' toolkits," said Sophos senior threat researcher and former Ars Technica national security editor Sean Gallagher. "The backdoor can be used in combination with other scripts and malware to perform discovery, exfiltration and lateral movement in an automated way across multiple targets. These SystemBC capabilities were originally intended for mass exploitation, but they have now be
Mount Locker Ransomware Offering Double Extortion Scheme to Other Hackers

Mount Locker Ransomware Offering Double Extortion Scheme to Other Hackers

December 11, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A relatively new ransomware strain behind a series of breaches on corporate networks has developed new capabilities that allow it to broaden the scope of its targeting and evade security software—as well as with ability for its affiliates to launch double extortion attacks. The MountLocker ransomware, which only began making the rounds in July 2020, has already gained notoriety for stealing files before encryption and demanding ransom amounts in the millions to prevent public disclosure of stolen data, a tactic known as  double extortion . "The MountLocker Operators are clearly just warming up. After a slow start in July they are rapidly gaining ground, as the high-profile nature of extortion and data leaks drive ransom demands ever higher," researchers from BlackBerry Research and Intelligence Team said. "MountLocker affiliates are typically fast operators, rapidly exfiltrating sensitive documents and encrypting them across key targets in a matter of hours."
FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

October 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Departments of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint alert Wednesday warning of an "imminent" increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks against hospitals and healthcare providers. "Malicious cyber actors are targeting the [Healthcare and Public Health] Sector with TrickBot malware, often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services," the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency  said  in its advisory. The infamous botnet typically spreads via malicious spam email to unsuspecting recipients and can steal financial and personal data and drop other software, such as ransomware, onto infected systems. It's worth noting that cybercriminals have already used TrickBot against a major healthcare provider,  Universal Health Services , whose systems were crippled by Ryuk ransomware late last month. TrickBot has also seen a severe  disrupt
Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

October 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has warned about a new strain of mobile ransomware that takes advantage of incoming call notifications and Android's Home button to lock the device behind a ransom note. The findings concern a variant of a known Android ransomware family dubbed "MalLocker.B" which has now resurfaced with new techniques, including a novel means to deliver the ransom demand on infected devices as well as an obfuscation mechanism to evade security solutions. The development comes amid a huge surge in ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure across sectors, with a 50% increase in the daily average of ransomware attacks in the last three months compared to the first half of the year, and cybercriminals increasingly incorporating double extortion in their playbook. MalLocker has been known for being hosted on malicious websites and circulated on online forums using various social engineering lures by masquerading as popular apps, cracked games, or video players. Pre
A New Hacking Group Hitting Russian Companies With Ransomware

A New Hacking Group Hitting Russian Companies With Ransomware

September 23, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
As ransomware attacks  against critical infrastructure continue to spike in recent months, cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new entrant that has been actively trying to conduct multistage attacks on large corporate networks of medical labs, banks, manufacturers, and software developers in Russia. The ransomware gang, codenamed "OldGremlin" and believed to be a Russian-speaking threat actor, has been linked to a series of campaigns at least since March, including a successful attack against a clinical diagnostics laboratory that occurred last month on August 11. "The group has targeted only Russian companies so far, which was typical for many Russian-speaking adversaries, such as  Silence  and  Cobalt , at the beginning of their criminal path," Singaporean cybersecurity firm Group-IB said in a report published today and shared with The Hacker News. "Using Russia as a testing ground, these groups then switched to other geographies to distance thems
British Hacker Sentenced to 5 Years for Blackmailing U.S. Companies

British Hacker Sentenced to 5 Years for Blackmailing U.S. Companies

September 22, 2020Swati Khandelwal
A UK man who threatened to publicly release stolen confidential information unless the victims agreed to fulfill his digital extortion demands has finally pleaded guilty on Monday at U.S. federal district court in St. Louis, Missouri. Nathan Francis Wyatt , 39, who is a key member of the infamous international hacking group 'The Dark Overlord,' has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $1,467,048 in restitution to his victims. Wyatt, who was extradited to the United States late last year after being held for over two years in the United Kingdom, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit aggravated identity theft and computer fraud. U.K. police first arrested Wyatt in September 2016 during an investigation into the hacking of an iCloud account belonging to Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of the British royal family member Duchess of Cambridge, and stealing 3,000 images of her. Though he was released in that case without charge due to lack of
A Patient Dies After Ransomware Attack Paralyzes German Hospital Systems

A Patient Dies After Ransomware Attack Paralyzes German Hospital Systems

September 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
German authorities last week  disclosed  that a ransomware attack on the University Hospital of Düsseldorf (UKD) caused a failure of IT systems, resulting in the death of a woman who had to be sent to another hospital that was 20 miles away. The incident marks the first recorded casualty as a consequence of cyberattacks on critical healthcare facilities, which has ramped up in recent months. The attack, which exploited a Citrix ADC  CVE-2019-19781  vulnerability to cripple the hospital systems on September 10, is said to have been "misdirected" in that it was originally intended for Heinrich Heine University, according to an extortion note left by the perpetrators. After law enforcement contacted the threat actors and informed them that they had encrypted a hospital, the operators behind the attack withdrew the ransom demand and provided the decryption key. The case is currently being treated as a homicide, BBC News  reported  over the weekend. Unpatched Vulnerabilities
Russian Arrested After Offering $1 Million to U.S. Company Employee for Planting Malware

Russian Arrested After Offering $1 Million to U.S. Company Employee for Planting Malware

August 26, 2020Mohit Kumar
Hackers always find a way in, even if there's no software vulnerability to exploit. The FBI has arrested a Russian national who recently traveled to the United States and offered $1 million in bribe to an employee of a targeted company for his help in installing malware into the company's computer network manually. Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov , 27-year-old, entered the United States as a tourist and was arrested in Los Angeles after meeting with the unnamed employee of an undisclosed Nevada-based company numerous times, between August 1 to August 21, to discuss the conspiracy. "On or about July 16, EGOR IGOREVICH KRIUCHKOV used his WhatsApp account to contact the employee of victim company and arranged to visit in person in the District of Nevada," the court documents say. "On or about July 28, EGOR IGOREVICH KRIUCHKOV entered the United States using his Russian Passport and a B1/B2 tourist visa." Kriuchkov also asked the employee to participate in
Smartwatch Maker Garmin Shuts Down Services After Ransomware Attack

Smartwatch Maker Garmin Shuts Down Services After Ransomware Attack

July 24, 2020Mohit Kumar
Garmin, the maker of fitness trackers, smartwatches and GPS-based wearable devices, is currently dealing with a massive worldwide service interruption after getting hit by a targeted ransomware attack, an employee of the company told The Hacker News on condition of anonymity. The company's website and the Twitter account say, "We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect." "This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience." As a result, the company yesterday was forced to temporarily shut down some of its connected services, including Garmin Express, Garmin Connect mobile, and the website—restricting millions of its users from accessing the cloud services or even syncing their watches locally to the app. Though not much information is available on tech
Hackers Targeting Critical Healthcare Facilities With Ransomware During Coronavirus Pandemic

Hackers Targeting Critical Healthcare Facilities With Ransomware During Coronavirus Pandemic

April 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
As hospitals around the world are struggling to respond to the coronavirus crisis, cybercriminals—with no conscience and empathy—are continuously targeting healthcare organizations, research facilities, and other governmental organizations with ransomware and malicious information stealers. The new research, published by Palo Alto Networks and shared with The Hacker News, confirmed that "the threat actors who profit from cybercrime will go to any extent, including targeting organizations that are in the front lines and responding to the pandemic on a daily basis." While the security firm didn't name the latest victims, it said a Canadian government healthcare organization and a Canadian medical research university both suffered ransomware attacks, as criminal groups seek to exploit the crisis for financial gain. The attacks were detected between March 24 and March 26 and were initiated as part of the coronavirus-themed phishing campaigns that have become widespr
7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

April 09, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
In our previous stories, you might have already read about various campaigns warning how threat actors are capitalizing on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in an attempt to infect your computers and mobile devices with malware or scam you out of your money. Unfortunately, to some extent, it's working, and that's because the attack surface is changing and expanding rapidly as many organizations and business tasks are going digital without much preparation, exposing themselves to more potential threats. Most of the recent cyberattacks are primarily exploiting the fears around the COVID-19 outbreak—fueled by disinformation and fake news—to distribute malware via Google Play apps , malicious links and attachments, and execute ransomware attacks. Here, we took a look at some of the wide range of unseen threats rising in the digital space, powered by coronavirus-themed lures that cybercriminals are using for espionage and commercial gain. The latest development adds to a l
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