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Showing posts with label LockBit 2.0 ransomware. Show all posts

Angry Developer Leaks LockBit Ransomware Builder


The recently released 3.0 version of LockBit encryptor’s builder, called LockBit Black is leaked online. According to the Ransomware operator’s public representative LockBitSupp, this leak is not executed by a hacker, rather, it is the work of some disgruntled developer. 

About LockBit Black Builder 

The latest version, LockBit Black was under the testing phase till June and comprised numerous advanced features, such as auto-analysis, a ransomware bug bounty program, and newer methods of extortion. 

The builder included a password-protected 7z archive LockBit3Builder, it comprised four files – a batch file, a builder, a modifiable configuration file, and an encryption key generator. The files allow one to build the executable code to launch their own operation, such as encryptor, decryptor, and tools to execute the decryptor in a specific way.  

LockBit Ransomware’s Builder Leaks

A recently registered Twitter account by the handle @ali_qushji is under scrutiny by the security researchers of 3xport, as the Twitter user Ali Qushji claims that his team has gotten hold of LockBit servers and found a builder for the LockBit 3.0 ransomware encryptor. 

“Unknown person @ali_qusji said his team has hacked the LockBit servers and found the possible builder of LockBit Black (3.0) ransomware” the Tweet read. 

On September 10, the researchers at VX-Underground were allegedly contacted by a user named protonleak (@protonleaks1), who shared a copy of the builder. The research agency further claimed that the ransomware group was not hacked, but the private ransomware builder code was leaked by one of the group’s developers. 

The developer was allegedly hired by the LockBit ransomware group, he was discontented with the ransomware operator’s leadership, and leaked the builder in response. 

"We reached out to LockBit ransomware group regarding this and discovered this leaker was a programmer employed by LockBit ransomware group [...] They were upset with LockBit leadership and leaked the builder." VX-Underground tweeted. 

Threat to the Ransomware Operators

According to John Hammond, a security researcher at Huntress Labs, "This leak of the builder software commoditizes the ability to configure, customize, and ultimately generate the executables to not only encrypt but decrypt files[...] Anyone with this utility can start a full-fledged ransomware operation."   

The leak consequently is a threat to ransomware operators, as the builder code is now accessible to other ransomware operators. As a result, many new versions of the builder will soon be circulated by the operators. Moreover, the leaked builder will give security researchers a chance to conduct a better analysis of the ransomware, and develop advanced software that could tackle future attacks.

Expansion of the LockBit Ransomware


To keep the masses notified about potential threats, the Cybereason Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) Team publishes Cybereason Threat Analysis Reports. The Threat Analysis Reports examine into such threats and offer suggestions for how to defend against them. 

LockBit, which was first identified in September 2019, uses the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) attack method and targets businesses. The ransomware operators are improving their techniques to disable Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools and other security solutions. 

Variables of the Virus 

Using the infrastructure and tools already in place for ransomware, Lockbit RaaS enables affiliates to conduct their own attacks while splitting a portion of the money received.

The affiliates associated with the LockBit gang utilized their own malware and tools to exploit the targets in the first attack that the researchers were able to document, which happened in Q4 2021. The majority of the infections that the researchers examined involved threat actors infiltrating the target networks by taking advantage of a misconfigured service, particularly an RDP port that was left accessible to the public. 

The attacker started the reconnaissance work and credentials extraction after gaining the first foothold on the vulnerable network. In this instance, the attackers employed advanced network monitoring tools like Netscan and Mimikatz to find the network's structure and valuable assets. 

The researchers describe a second infection that happened in Q2 of 2022. The researchers described the attack's many phases, including the initial compromise, lateral actions, creating durability, upgrading of privileges, and the generation of the ransomware in its final stages. 

The attackers made use of net.exe to create domain accounts and grant themselves 'domain administrator' rights. They then exploited these accounts to propagate throughout the victim's network and maintain persistence. The researchers also discovered that the attackers were using Ngrok, a reliable reverse proxy tool that enables them to build a tunnel to servers protected by firewalls.

Additional PCs in the target network were also infected by the threat actors with the malware 'Neshta', a file infector that inserts malicious code into targeted executable files. 

Exfiltration of Records

The data was collected and exfiltrated when the LockBit affiliate secured persistent remote access and the necessary credentials. For this, the actors employed three different tools: 
  • Filezilla.exe is used to establish a connection to attacker-controlled remote FTP service. 
  • Data exfiltration using Rclone.exe to a cloud hosting provider associated with 'Mega'.
  • Data exfiltration tool Megasync.exe to a "Mega"-related cloud hosting provider .
The LockBit affiliate has now fulfilled all the steps required to run the LockBit payload and start encryption:
  • Through several hacked devices, persistence in the system.
  • Access to accounts with high privilege.
  • Gathered and leaked victim info.
  • List of the most valuable assets discovered through network scans .
Along with Mitre mapping, the experts also discussed signs of vulnerability. LockBit 3.0, which includes significant innovations like a bug bounty program, Zcash payment, and new extortion techniques, was just launched by the Lockbit ransomware operation. The group is now one of the most active ransomware gangs and has been active at least since 2019.

LockBit 3.0: Launch of Ransomware Bug Bounty Program


The "LockBit 3.0" ransomware update from the LockBit ransomware organization features the first spyware bug bounty program, new extortion methods, and Zcash cryptocurrency payment choices. After two months of beta testing, the notorious gang's ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation, which has been operational since 2019, recently underwent an alteration. It appears that hackers have already employed LockBit 3.0.

Bug bounty plan for LockBit 3.0 

With the launch of LockBit 3.0, the organization launched the first bug bounty program provided by a ransomware gang, which asks security researchers to disclose bugs in exchange for incentives that can go as high as $1 million. In addition to providing bounties for vulnerabilities, LockBit also pays rewards for "great ideas" to enhance the ransomware activity and for doxing the operator of the affiliate program, identified as LockBitSupp, which had previously posted a bounty plan in April on the XSS hacking site.

"We open our bug bounty program to any security researchers, ethical and unethical hackers worldwide. The compensation ranges from $1,000 to $1,000,000," reads the page for the LockBit 3.0 bug reward. The notion of initiating the criminal operation would be against the law in many nations, however, makes this bug reward scheme a little different from those frequently utilized by respectable businesses.

LeMagIT claims that version 3.0 of LockBit includes several other improvements, such as new methods for data recovery and monetization, as well as the option for victims to choose to have their data destroyed, and the ability for victims to make payments using the Zcash cryptocurrency in addition to Bitcoin and Monero. 

LockBit is producing outcomes. In May, LockBit 2.0 succeeded Conti as the leading provider of ransomware as a service. The gang's previous ransomware, LockBit 2.0, was to be blamed for 40% of the attacks that NCC Group observed in the preceding month. Moreover, according to Matt Hull, worldwide lead for strategic threat intelligence at NCC, The most prolific threat actor of 2022 is Lockbit 2.0,  In times like these, it's imperative that businesses become familiar with their strategies, methods, and processes.

It is unclear how this new extortion technique will operate or even whether it is activated because the LockBit 3.0 data leak site currently does not have any victims. With its public-facing manager actively interacting with other malicious actors and the cybersecurity community, LockBit is one of the most prolific ransomware campaigns.

Chinese APT Utilizes Ransomware to Cover Cyberespionage


A China-based advanced persistent threat (APT) group called Bronze Starlight has been active since the start of 2021. It appears to be using double-extortion attacks and ransomware as cover for routine, state-sponsored cyberespionage and intellectual property theft. 

The distribution of post-intrusion ransomware, including LockFile, Atom Silo, Rook, Night Sky, Pandora, and LockBit 2.0, is a feature of Bronze Starlight. Microsoft also labeled it as part of the DEV-0401 emerging threat cluster, highlighting its involvement in all phases of the ransomware attack cycle, from initial access to the payload dissemination.

China's Correlation

The threat actor has always loaded Cobalt Strike Beacon and then released ransomware on compromised computers using a malware loader known as the HUI Loader, which is solely utilized by  Chinese-based organizations. This method has not been noticed by other threat actors, according to Secureworks researchers.

Researchers from Secureworks believe that Bronze Starlight is more likely motivated by cyberespionage and intellectual property (IP) theft than financial gain due to the short lifespan of each ransomware family, victimology, and access to tools used by Chinese state hacktivists (including known vulnerabilities and the HUI Loader). HUI Loader has been used to distribute malware such as Cobalt Strike, QuasarRAT, PlugX, and SodaMaster as well as remote access trojans (RATs) at least since 2015.

Attacks carried out by the actor are distinguished by the use of vulnerabilities influencing Exchange Server, Zoho ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus, Atlassian Confluence, and Apache Log4j. This contrasts with other RaaS groups that obtain access from initial access brokers (IABs) to enter a network. 

The similarity between Ransomware 

Additionally, a familiar actor is apparent from the similarities found between LockFile, Atom Silo, Rook, Night Sky, and Pandora, the latter three of which were developed from the Babuk ransomware, the source code of which was leaked in September 2021. 

The researchers write that the use of HUI Loader to load Cobalt Strike Beacon, the configuration data for Cobalt Strike Beacon, the C2 network, and the code overlap "indicate that the same threat group is linked with these 5 ransomware families."

The use of the HUI Loader to launch next-stage encrypted payloads like PlugX and Cobalt Strike Beacons, which are used to disseminate the ransomware, is another instance of detected tradecraft. However, this technique requires first getting privileged Domain Administrator credentials. 

The main victims are American and Brazilian pharmaceutical firms, a U.S. media outlet with branches in China and Hong Kong, Lithuanian and Japanese electronic component designers and manufacturers, a U.S. legal company, and the aerospace & defense unit of an Indian conglomerate. 

To achieve this, ransomware operations not only give the threat actor a way to phish data as a result of the double extortion, but they also give them a chance to erase forensic proof of its destructive actions and distract them from data theft.

HHS Cybersecurity Agency Issues Threat Briefing on LockBit Ransomware


A security report on LockBit, a ransomware gang that reportedly published a new variant, has been issued by The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center. The cybercriminals were behind the highly reported cyberattack on Accenture this summer, wherein the corporation was supposedly threatened with a ransom demand of $50 million. 

LockBit ransomware is a malicious program that prevents users from accessing their computers in return for a ransom demand. LockBit will automatically scan a network seeking valuable targets, spread the virus, and lock all computers that are accessible. This ransomware is employed in very specific cyberattacks against businesses and other organizations. 

LockBit was introduced in September 2019 and began advertising its "ransomware as a service" affiliate scheme in January 2020, according to HC3. 

In May 2020, it began collaborating with Maze, another ransomware organization, and in September of the same year, it debuted its very own leak site. LockBit v2.0 was released in June of this year. Furthermore, according to HC3, it employs a two-pronged extortion scheme involving the StealBit malware. It has improved encryption and circumvents user account control methods. 

"Threat actors continue to view unpatched systems as an easy, if not preferred, method of intrusion," wrote officials from the cybersecurity arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in its brief. 

It moreover relaunched its affiliate program, wherein affiliates determine the ransom, then choose a payment system, and receive the majority of the money before actually paying the organization. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are among the Commonwealth of Independent States countries where the program does not function. 

Based on an interview with a LockBit ransomware operator, the organization concluded that the malicious actors looked to have a "contradictory code of ethics." 

According to HC3, healthcare facilities are ideal targets, but the LockBit affiliate showed "a strong disdain for those who attack healthcare entities while displaying conflicting evidence about whether he targets them himself." 

"The U.S. also has lucrative targets, but with data privacy laws requiring victim companies to report all breaches, the incentive for such entities to pay the ransom is likely somewhat reduced," said HC3. 

"Cybercriminals are avid consumers of security news and remain up to date on the latest research and vulnerabilities, weaponizing that information to use in future attacks," it wrote. 

Threat advisories on various ransomware organizations, including BlackMatter, Conti, and Hive, have recently been published by the federal government. The alerts, however, haven't stopped the flood of ransomware news. Hive hacked a Missouri health center earlier this month and published patient names, Social Security numbers, and medical information on its blog.

LockBit 2.0 Ransomware Hit Israeli Defense Firm E.M.I.T. Aviation Consulting


LockBit 2.0 ransomware operators have reportedly hit the Israeli aerospace and defense firm E.M.I.T. in a new campaign of attacks. According to Aviation Consulting Ltd, hackers claim to have accessed the internal system and also have stolen credential data from the company. 

Post attack, the group is threatening to publish the stolen data which includes sensitive information, invoices, employees, and possibly payment data, onto their dark web leak site in case the company is not ready to pay the ransom. Although the group of attackers is yet to leak the stolen data as proof of the attack, the countdown will end on 07 October 2021. 

Currently, it has not been disclosed how the attackers' group acquired access to the system of the company and when the incident took place. Similar to other ransomware attacks, LockBit 2.0 has also executed a ransomware-as-a-service model and maintains a network of affiliates. 

According to the technical data, the ransomware operation group LockBit ransomware has been in action since September 2019, in June the group announced the LockBit 2.0 RaaS. After ransomware ads were banned on the hacking forums, the group of LockBit operators came with their own leak site and also promoting the latest model and advertising the LockBit 2.0 affiliate program. 

At present, the LockBit gang is highly active targeting numerous organizations including Riviana, Anasia Group, Wormington & Bollinger, Vlastuin Group, DATA SPEED SRL, SCIS Air Security, Peabody Properties, Island independent buying group, Buffington Law Firm Day Lewis, and many others worldwide. 

A few months, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) had warned its Australian organizations against LockBit 2.0 ransomware attacks. E.M.I.T. Aviation Consulting Ltd was established in 1986, the company is involved in designing and assembling complete aircraft, tactical and sub tactical UAV systems, and mobile integrated reconnaissance systems.