Security experts say the notorious REvil - aka Sodinokibi - ransomware-as-a-service operation, which went dark in July, appears to be back in business. The group's data leak site and payment portal are back online, and one expert says the group appears to have begun amassing new victims.
"Silence is gold." So says ransomware operator Ragnar Locker, as it attempts to compel victims to pay its ransom demand without ever telling anyone - especially not police. But some ransomware-battling experts have been advocating the opposite, including mandatory reporting of all ransom payments.
The Ragnar Locker ransomware operation has been threatening to dump victims' stolen data if they contact police, private investigators or professional negotiators before paying a ransom. But as one expert notes: "Perhaps the criminals watched too many TV shows, because this isn’t how the real world works."
The most sought-after type of victim for ransomware-wielding attackers is a large, U.S.-based business with at least $100 million in revenue, not operating in the healthcare or education sector, with remote access available via remote desktop protocol or VPN credentials, threat intelligence firm Kela reports.
As the last U.S. military flight lifted off Tuesday evening from the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, what's been left behind reportedly includes a vast trove of biometric data that could be used to identify - including for interrogation or execution - individuals who assisted the occupying NATO forces.
Want defensive advice from a ransomware-wielding attacker? In a tell-all interview, a LockBit 2.0 representative not only extols the virtues of his malware, but also advises would-be victims to hire red teams, keep their software updated and educate employees to resist social engineering attacks.
T-Mobile USA says its massive data breach is worse than it first reported: The count of prepaid and postpaid customers whose information was stolen has risen to 14 million. Also revised upward: its count of 40 million exposed credit applications from former customers and prospects.
When is a data exposure not just a data exposure? According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission order, education publishing giant Pearson misled investors when it failed to proactively inform them that attackers had stolen millions of rows of student information, including poorly hashed passwords.
Initial access brokers continue to sell easy access to networks. Given the uptake of such access by ransomware operations over the past year, one surprise is that relatively few individuals appear to be serving as brokers, which, of course, makes them an obvious target for law enforcement authorities.
A seemingly nonstop number of ransomware-wielding attackers have been granting tell-all media interviews. One perhaps inadvertent takeaway from these interviews is the extent to which - surprise - so many criminals use lies in an attempt to compel more victims to pay a ransom.
The new BlackMatter ransomware operation claimed to have incorporated "the best features of DarkSide, REvil and LockBit." Now, a security expert who obtained a BlackMatter decryptor reports that code similarities suggest "that we are dealing with a Darkside rebrand here."
Good news on the ransomware front: The average ransom paid by a victim dropped by 38% from Q1 to Q2, reaching $136,576, reports ransomware incident response firm Coveware. In addition, fewer victims are paying a ransom simply for a promise from attackers to delete stolen data.
What's up with REvil? Questions have been mounting since the notorious ransomware operation went quiet on July 13, not long after unleashing a mega-attack via remote management software vendor Kaseya's software. The Biden administration has welcomed REvil's online shutdown but says it doesn't know the cause.
Can NSO Group and other commercial spyware vendors survive the latest revelations into how their tools get used? The Israeli firm is again being accused of selling spyware to repressive regimes, facilitating the surveillance of journalists, political opponents, business executives and even world leaders.
The world is now focused on ransomware, perhaps more so than any previous cybersecurity threat in history. But if the viability of ransomware as a criminal business model should decline, expect those attackers to quickly embrace something else, such as illicitly mining for cryptocurrency.