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CL0P's Ransomware Rampage - Security Measures for 2024

CL0P's Ransomware Rampage - Security Measures for 2024
Apr 09, 2024 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
2023 CL0P Growth  Emerging in early 2019, CL0P was first introduced as a more advanced version of its predecessor the 'CryptoMix' ransomware, brought about by its owner CL0P ransomware, a cybercrime organisation. Over the years the group remained active with significant campaigns throughout 2020 to 2022. But in 2023 the CL0P ransomware gang took itself to new heights and became one of the most active and successful ransomware organizations in the world.  Capitalizing on countless vulnerabilities and exploits for some of the world's largest organizations. The presumed Russian gang took its name from the Russian word "klop," which translates to "bed bug" and is often written as "CLOP" or "cl0p". Once their victims' files are encrypted, ".clop" extensions are added to their files.  CL0P's Methods & Tactics  The CL0P ransomware gang (closely associated with the TA505. FIN11, and UNC2546 cybercrime groups) was renowned for their extremely destructive and aggressive ca

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

CISA Warning: Akira Ransomware Exploiting Cisco ASA/FTD Vulnerability

CISA Warning: Akira Ransomware Exploiting Cisco ASA/FTD Vulnerability
Feb 16, 2024 Ransomware / Vulnerability
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Thursday  added  a now-patched security flaw impacting Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) and Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) software to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities ( KEV ) catalog, following reports that it's being likely exploited in Akira ransomware attacks. The vulnerability in question is  CVE-2020-3259  (CVSS score: 7.5), a high-severity information disclosure issue that could allow an attacker to retrieve memory contents on an affected device. It was  patched  by Cisco as part of updates released in May 2020. Late last month, cybersecurity firm Truesec said it found evidence suggesting that it has been weaponized by Akira ransomware actors to compromise multiple susceptible Cisco Anyconnect SSL VPN appliances over the past year. "There is no publicly available exploit code for [...] CVE-2020-3259, meaning that a threat actor, such as Akira, exploiting that vulnerability would need to b

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What's the Right EDR for You?

What's the Right EDR for You?
May 10, 2024Endpoint Security / Threat Detection
A guide to finding the right endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution for your business' unique needs. Cybersecurity has become an ongoing battle between hackers and small- and mid-sized businesses. Though perimeter security measures like antivirus and firewalls have traditionally served as the frontlines of defense, the battleground has shifted to endpoints. This is why endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions now serve as critical weapons in the fight, empowering you and your organization to detect known and unknown threats, respond to them quickly, and extend the cybersecurity fight across all phases of an attack.  With the growing need to defend your devices from today's cyber threats, however, choosing the right EDR solution can be a daunting task. There are so many options and features to choose from, and not all EDR solutions are made with everyday businesses and IT teams in mind. So how do you pick the best solution for your needs? Why EDR Is a Must Because of

Bumblebee Malware Returns with New Tricks, Targeting U.S. Businesses

Bumblebee Malware Returns with New Tricks, Targeting U.S. Businesses
Feb 14, 2024 Malware / Cybercrime
The infamous malware loader and initial access broker known as  Bumblebee  has resurfaced after a four-month absence as part of a new phishing campaign observed in February 2024. Enterprise security firm Proofpoint said the activity targets organizations in the U.S. with voicemail-themed lures containing links to OneDrive URLs. "The URLs led to a Word file with names such as "ReleaseEvans#96.docm" (the digits before the file extension varied)," the company  said  in a Tuesday report. "The Word document spoofed the consumer electronics company Humane." Opening the document leverages VBA macros to launch a PowerShell command to download and execute another PowerShell script from a remote server that, in turn, retrieves and runs the Bumblebee loader. Bumblebee,  first spotted  in March 2022, is mainly designed to download and execute follow-on payloads such as ransomware. It has been put to use by multiple crimeware threat actors that previously observe

FBI Takes Down BlackCat Ransomware, Releases Free Decryption Tool

FBI Takes Down BlackCat Ransomware, Releases Free Decryption Tool
Dec 19, 2023 Ransomware / Cybercrime
The U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) has officially  announced  the disruption of the BlackCat ransomware operation and released a decryption tool that more than 500 affected victims can use to regain access to files locked by the malware. Court documents show that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) enlisted the help of a confidential human source (CHS) to act as an affiliate for the BlackCat group and gain access to a web panel used for managing the gang's victims, in what's a case of hacking the hackers. The confiscation effort involved collaboration and assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies from the U.S., Germany, Denmark, Australia, the U.K., Spain, Switzerland, and Austria. BlackCat , also called ALPHV, GOLD BLAZER, and Noberus,  first emerged  in December 2021 and has since gone on to be the second most prolific ransomware-as-a-service variant in the world after LockBit. It's also the first Rust-language-based ransomware strain spotted in the

Double-Extortion Play Ransomware Strikes 300 Organizations Worldwide

Double-Extortion Play Ransomware Strikes 300 Organizations Worldwide
Dec 19, 2023 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
The threat actors behind the Play ransomware are estimated to have impacted approximately 300 entities as of October 2023, according to a new joint cybersecurity advisory from Australia and the U.S. "Play ransomware actors employ a double-extortion model, encrypting systems after exfiltrating data and have impacted a wide range of businesses and critical infrastructure organizations in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia," authorities  said . Also called Balloonfly and PlayCrypt, Play emerged in 2022, exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Exchange servers (CVE-2022-41040 and CVE-2022-41082) and Fortinet appliances (CVE-2018-13379 and CVE-2020-12812) to breach enterprises and deploy file-encrypting malware. It's worth pointing out that ransomware attacks are increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities rather than using phishing emails as initial infection vectors, jumping from nearly zero in the second half of 2022 to almost a third in the first half of 20

Ransomware-as-a-Service: The Growing Threat You Can't Ignore

Ransomware-as-a-Service: The Growing Threat You Can't Ignore
Dec 08, 2023 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
Ransomware attacks  have become a significant and pervasive threat in the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity. Among the various iterations of ransomware, one trend that has gained prominence is Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). This alarming development has transformed the cybercrime landscape, enabling individuals with limited technical expertise to carry out devastating attacks. Traditional and double extortion ransomware attacks Traditionally, ransomware refers to a type of malware that encrypts the victim's files, effectively blocking access to data and applications until a ransom is paid to the attacker. However, more contemporary attackers often employ an additional strategy. The bad actors create copies of the compromised data and leverage the threat of publishing sensitive information online unless their demands for ransom are met. This dual approach adds an extra layer of complexity and potential harm to the victims. A new model for ransomware RaaS is the latest busin

CACTUS Ransomware Exploits Qlik Sense Vulnerabilities in Targeted Attacks

CACTUS Ransomware Exploits Qlik Sense Vulnerabilities in Targeted Attacks
Nov 30, 2023 Ransomware / Vulnerability
A  CACTUS ransomware campaign  has been observed exploiting recently disclosed security flaws in a cloud analytics and business intelligence platform called Qlik Sense to obtain a foothold into targeted environments. "This campaign marks the first documented instance [...] where threat actors deploying CACTUS ransomware have exploited vulnerabilities in Qlik Sense for initial access," Arctic Wolf researchers Stefan Hostetler, Markus Neis, and Kyle Pagelow  said . The cybersecurity company, which said it's responding to "several instances" of exploitation of the software, noted that the attacks are likely taking advantage of three flaws that have been disclosed over the past three months - CVE-2023-41265  (CVSS score: 9.9) - An HTTP Request Tunneling vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to elevate their privilege and send requests that get executed by the backend server hosting the repository application. CVE-2023-41266  (CVSS score: 6.5) - A path tr

Play Ransomware Goes Commercial - Now Offered as a Service to Cybercriminals

Play Ransomware Goes Commercial - Now Offered as a Service to Cybercriminals
Nov 21, 2023 Ransomware-as-a-service
The ransomware strain known as  Play  is now being offered to other threat actors "as a service," new evidence unearthed by Adlumin has revealed. "The unusual lack of even small variations between attacks suggests that they are being carried out by affiliates who have purchased the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and are following step-by-step instructions from playbooks delivered with it," the cybersecurity company said in a report shared with The Hacker News. The findings are based on various Play ransomware attacks tracked by Adlumin spanning different sectors that incorporated almost identical tactics and in the same sequence. This includes the use of the public music folder (C:\...\public\music) to hide the malicious file, the same password to create high-privilege accounts, and both attacks, and the same commands. Play , also called Balloonfly and PlayCrypt, first came to light in June 2022, leveraging security flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server – i.e., 

8Base Group Deploying New Phobos Ransomware Variant via SmokeLoader

8Base Group Deploying New Phobos Ransomware Variant via SmokeLoader
Nov 18, 2023 Ransomware / Endpoint Security
The threat actors behind the  8Base ransomware  are leveraging a variant of the Phobos ransomware to conduct their financially motivated attacks. The findings come from Cisco Talos, which has recorded an increase in activity carried out by the cybercriminals. "Most of the group's Phobos variants are distributed by SmokeLoader, a backdoor trojan," security researcher Guilherme Venere said in an exhaustive  two-part   analysis  published Friday. "This commodity loader typically drops or downloads additional payloads when deployed. In 8Base campaigns, however, it has the ransomware component embedded in its encrypted payloads, which is then decrypted and loaded into the SmokeLoader process' memory." 8Base came into sharp focus in mid-2023, when a similar spike in activity was observed by the cybersecurity community. It's said to be active at least since March 2022. A  previous analysis  from VMware Carbon Black in June 2023 identified parallels between 8Base and Ranso

CISA and FBI Issue Warning About Rhysida Ransomware Double Extortion Attacks

CISA and FBI Issue Warning About Rhysida Ransomware Double Extortion Attacks
Nov 16, 2023 Cyber Threats / Data Security
The threat actors behind the  Rhysida ransomware  engage in opportunistic attacks targeting organizations spanning various industry sectors. The advisory comes courtesy of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). "Observed as a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model, Rhysida actors have compromised organizations in education, manufacturing, information technology, and government sectors and any ransom paid is split between the group and affiliates," the agencies  said . " Rhysida actors leverage external-facing remote services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), Zerologon vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472), and phishing campaigns to gain initial access and persistence within a network." First detected in May 2023,  Rhysida  makes use of the time-tested tactic of double extortion, demanding a ransom payment to decrypt victim

New Ransomware Group Emerges with Hive's Source Code and Infrastructure

New Ransomware Group Emerges with Hive's Source Code and Infrastructure
Nov 13, 2023 Cyber Threat / Malware
The threat actors behind a new ransomware group called  Hunters International  have acquired the source code and infrastructure from the now-dismantled Hive operation to kick-start its own efforts in the threat landscape. "It appears that the leadership of the Hive group made the strategic decision to cease their operations and transfer their remaining assets to another group, Hunters International," Martin Zugec, technical solutions director at Bitdefender,  said  in a report published last week. Hive, once a prolific ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation, was  taken down  as part of a coordinated law enforcement operation in January 2023. While it's common for ransomware actors to regroup, rebrand, or disband their activities following such seizures, what can also happen is that the core developers can pass on the source code and other infrastructure in their possession to another threat actor. Reports about Hunters International as a possible Hive rebrand  sur

Experts Expose Farnetwork's Ransomware-as-a-Service Business Model

Experts Expose Farnetwork's Ransomware-as-a-Service Business Model
Nov 08, 2023 Cyber Threat / Endpoint Security
Cybersecurity researchers have unmasked a prolific threat actor known as farnetwork, who has been linked to five different ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) programs over the past four years in various capacities. Singapore-headquartered Group-IB, which attempted to infiltrate a private RaaS program that uses the  Nokoyawa   ransomware  strain, said it underwent a "job interview" process with the threat actor, learning several valuable insights into their background and role within those RaaS programs. "Throughout the threat actor's cybercriminal career, which began in 2019, farnetwork has been involved in several connected ransomware projects, including JSWORM, Nefilim, Karma, and Nemty, as part of which they helped develop ransomware and manage the RaaS programs before launching their own RaaS program based on Nokoyawa ransomware," Nikolay Kichatov, threat intelligence analyst at Group-IB,  said . The latest disclosure comes nearly six months after the cyber
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