Not all ransomware groups wield crypto-locking malware. Some have adopted other strategies. Take BianLian. After security researchers released a free decryptor for its malware, instead of encrypting files, the group chose to steal them and demand ransom solely for their safe return.
The LockBit ransomware operation claims to have stolen data from a Texas-based supplier to Elon Musk's SpaceX, which designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. It's the latest PR-grabbing attempt by the prolific LockBit extortion group.
Key to the business success of top ransomware groups remains their ability to find innovative new ways to amass victims. For Hive, which received more than $100 million in ransom payments before being disrupted by law enforcement, the new business strategy that helped it thrive was co-working.
Here's further proof many cybercriminals are rampant self-promoters: Credit card market BidenCash, which sells compromised payment card data, dumped 2 million payment cards for free. This shows that competition between carder markets - and increasingly, Telegram-based vendors - is fierce.
Cybercrime experts have long urged victims to never pay a ransom in return for any promise an attacker makes to delete stolen data. That's because, as a recent case highlights, whatever extortionists might promise, stolen personal data is lucrative, and it often gets sold six ways from Sunday.
Will large language models such as ChatGPT take cybercrime to new heights? Researchers say AI for malicious use so far remains a novelty rather than a useful and reliable cybercrime tool. But as AI capabilities and chatbots improve, the cybersecurity writing is on the wall.
As ransomware continues to disrupt British organizations, the U.K. for the first time has sanctioned alleged cybercriminals, including accused Conti and TrickBot operators. Ransomware victims must conduct due diligence before paying any ransom, as violating sanctions carries severe penalties.
The LockBit group has gone from denying it had any involvement in the ransomware attack on Britain's Royal Mail to trying to bargain for a ransom. The ransomware group's site now lists Royal Mail as a victim and demands it pay a ransom or see stolen data get dumped.
Criminals lately have been prioritizing two types of attacks: exploiting Remote Desktop Protocol and penetrating cloud databases. So warns cyber insurer Coalition, based on analyzing in-the-wild attacks seen in 2022 via underwriting and claims data, scans of IP addresses and honeypots.
What's not to love about an international law enforcement operation visiting disruption on Hive, the ransomware-wielding crime syndicate? But with no suspects in jail, it's unclear how long this takedown might stick before the bad guys reboot or rebrand.
As ransomware continues to pummel numerous sectors, and lately especially the manufacturing industry, how does any given organization end up becoming a target or victim? Cybercrime watchers say the answer involves initial access brokers, botnets, targets of opportunity and, above all, profit.
Bad news for ransomware groups: Experts find it's getting tougher to earn a crypto-locking payday at the expense of others. The bad guys can blame a move by law enforcement to better support victims, and more organizations having robust defenses in place, which makes them tougher to take down.
The total amount of ransom payments being sent by victims to ransomware groups appears to have taken a big dip, declining by 40% from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022 due to victims simply being unwilling to pay, blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis reports.
Essential reading for network defenders: CircleCI's report into its recent breach, which began when malware infected an engineer's laptop. After stealing "a valid, 2FA-backed" single sign-on session cookie, attackers stole customers' secrets and gained unauthorized access to third-party systems.
Pity the overworked ransomware gang - say, LockBit - that just "discovered" one of its affiliates hit Britain's postal service. But until Western governments find a way to truly disrupt the ransomware business model, operators remain free to keep spouting half-truths and lies at victims' expense.