A New Cybercrime Group Linked to 7 Ransomware Households

Cybersecurity consultants have make clear a brand new cybercrime group often called ShadowSyndicate (previously Infra Storm) that will have leveraged as many as seven completely different ransomware households over the previous yr.

“ShadowSyndicate is a threat actor that works with various ransomware groups and affiliates of ransomware programs,” Group-IB and Bridewell said in a brand new joint report.

The actor, energetic since July 16, 2022, has linked to ransomware exercise associated to Quantum, Nokoyawa, BlackCat, Royal, Cl0p, Cactus, and Play strains, whereas additionally deploying off-the-shelf post-exploitation instruments like Cobalt Strike and Sliver in addition to loaders reminiscent of IcedID and Matanbuchus.

The findings are primarily based on a definite SSH fingerprint (1ca4cbac895fc3bd12417b77fc6ed31d) found on 85 servers, 52 of which have been used as command-and-control (C2) for Cobalt Strike. Amongst these servers are eight completely different Cobalt Strike license keys (or watermarks).

A majority of the servers (23) are situated in Panama, adopted by Cyprus (11), Russia (9), Seychelles (8), Costa Rica (7), Czechia (7), Belize (6), Bulgaria (3), Honduras (3), and the Netherlands (3).

Group-IB stated it additionally discovered further infrastructure overlaps that join ShadowSyndicate to TrickBot, Ryuk/Conti, FIN7, and TrueBot malware operations.


“Out of the 149 IP addresses that we linked to Cl0p ransomware affiliates, we have seen, since August 2022, 12 IP addresses from 4 different clusters changed ownership to ShadowSyndicate, which suggests that there is some potential sharing of infrastructure between these groups,” the businesses stated.

The disclosure comes because the German regulation enforcement authorities announced a second focused strike in opposition to actors related to the DoppelPaymer ransomware group, a few of whom had been targeted earlier this Marchexecuting search warrants in opposition to two suspects in Germany and Ukraine.

The people, a 44-year-old Ukrainian and a 45-year-old German nationwide, are alleged to have held key obligations throughout the community and obtained illicit proceeds from the ransomware assaults. Their names weren’t disclosed.

The event additionally follows a joint advisory issued by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA) a few double extortion actor referred to as Snatch (previously Staff Truniger) that has focused a variety of critical infrastructure sectors since mid-2021.

“Snatch threat actors employ several different methods to gain access to and maintain persistence on a victim’s network,” the companies saidcalling out their constant evolution of techniques and the flexibility of the malware to evade detection by rebooting Home windows methods into Safe Mode.

“Snatch affiliates primarily rely on exploiting weaknesses in Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for brute-forcing and gaining administrator credentials to victims’ networks. In some instances, Snatch affiliates have sought out compromised credentials from criminal forums/marketplaces.”

The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), in its newest Homeland Menace Evaluation report, famous that ransomware teams are constantly developing new methods to enhance their capacity to financially extort victims, making 2023 the second most profitable year after 2021.

“These groups have increased their use of multilevel extortion, in which they encrypt and exfiltrate their targets’ data and typically threaten to publicly release stolen data, use DDoS attacks, or harass the victim’s customers to coerce the victim to pay,” the DHS report said.


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Akira is a living proof. The ransomware has expanded its reach since rising as a Home windows-based risk in March 2023 to incorporate Linux servers and VMWare ESXi digital machines, underscoring its capacity to rapidly adapt to traits. As of mid-September, the group has efficiently hit 110 victims within the U.S. and the U.Okay.

The resurgence of ransomware assaults has additionally been accompanied by a spike in cyber insurance coverage claims, with total claims frequency growing 12% within the first half of the yr within the U.S. and victims reporting a mean loss quantity of greater than $365,000, a 61% bounce from the second half of 2022.

“Businesses with more than $100 million in revenue saw the largest increase in frequency, and while other revenue bands were more stable, they also faced surges in claims,” cyber insurance coverage agency Coalition said.

Cybercrime Group

The fixed flux within the risk panorama is greatest exemplified by BlackCat, Cl0p, and LockBit, which have remained a few of the most prolific and evolutionary ransomware households in latest months, primarily concentrating on small and huge enterprises spanning banking, retail, and transportation sectors. The variety of energetic RaaS and RaaS-related teams has grown in 2023 by 11.3%, rising from 39 to 45.

A report from eSentire final week detailed two LockBit assaults wherein the e-crime group was noticed leveraging the sufferer corporations’ internet-exposed distant monitoring and administration (RMM) instruments (or their very own) to unfold the ransomware throughout the IT atmosphere or push it to their downstream prospects.

The reliance on such living-off-the-land (LotL) strategies is an try to keep away from detection and confuse attribution efforts by mixing malicious and legit use of IT administration instruments, the Canadian firm said.

In one other occasion of a BlackCat attack highlighted by Sophos this month, the attackers had been seen encrypting Microsoft Azure Storage accounts after having access to an unnamed buyer’s Azure portal.

“During the intrusion, the threat actors were observed leveraging various RMM tools (AnyDesk, Splashtop, and Atera), and using Chrome to access the target’s installed LastPass vault via the browser extension, where they obtained the OTP for accessing the target’s Sophos Central account, which is used by customers to manage their Sophos products,” the corporate said.

“The adversary then modified security policies and disabled Tamper Protection within Central before encrypting the customer’s systems and remote Azure Storage accounts via ransomware executable with the extension .zk09cvt.”

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Author: information@thehackernews.com (The Hacker Information)
Date: 2023-09-26 11:56:00

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Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, Torontohttp://alinaa-cybersecurity.com
Alina A, an UofT graduate & Google Certified Cyber Security analyst, currently based in Toronto, Canada. She is passionate for Research and to write about Cyber-security related issues, trends and concerns in an emerging digital world.


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