Regarding malware, breaches, and the overall threat landscape, 2023 is off to a dynamic start. Malvertising (malicious advertising) continues to be a successful attack vector for hackers, especially from sponsored ads via Google searches. Jon DiMaggio released his long-awaited Ransomware Diary series beginning with the first iteration of the LockBit ransomware group. Also, a new group from Belarus claims to have breached the IRS, just as American citizens are beginning the tax season. Here is a snippet of the top cybersecurity stories from last week.
1. Rhadamanthys leverages malvertising
A few months ago, researchers from Microsoft released a bulletin highlighting a threat actor, DEV-0569, using advertisements to spread Royal ransomware. Although this technique is nothing new, it was a reminder that advertisements are an effective attack vector for hackers. This last week, there was another reminder of malvertising with the discovery of a new information stealer – Rhadamanthys. Surprisingly, an NFT collector on Twitter made the discovery. Albeit he wasn’t aware the malware that infected his system was Rhadamanthys.
On January 14th, the NFT collector, NFT_GOD, posted a thread that he lost all, or most, of his cryptocurrency after returning home to pick up his significant other. The heist occurred after NFT_GOD downloaded what he thought was the streaming application OBS Studio. However, he clicked on a sponsored advertisement that claimed to be the website of OBS Studio. Unfortunately, it was Rhadamanthys. It’s no wonder that CISA recommends all federal agencies use an ad blocker.
2. Hold Security leaks Solaris market data
Last December, Hold Security hacked one of Russia’s largest online drug markets – Solaris. A few days ago, they went further by leaking data from the market. This includes all the data from the last hack in December to January 12th. Basically, a year’s worth of data that the WatchGuard Threat Lab has yet to sift through. You can find their data leaks in the references below.
3. SuspectFile interviews Mallox ransomware group
SuspectFile, a blog by an independent researcher, has a history of interviewing ransomware groups and providing excellent investigative work that aids ransomware researchers in better understanding the inner workings of these groups. Just yesterday, they released an interview with the Mallox ransomware group. Formally known TargetCompany, Mallox is believed to be an updated variant alongside FARGO ransomware. They are all believed to be related. The interview explores that relationship and much more.
4. Jon DiMaggio takes a deep dive into LockBit ransomware group operations
Jon DiMaggio, Chief Security Analyst at Analyst1 and author of The Art of Cybercrime, released an EXCELLENT analysis of the LockBit ransomware group as part of his new Ransomware Diaries series. If you follow ransomware or extortion groups, it would be impossible not to hear about LockBit. They are currently the most infamous ransomware group, if not the most infamous of all time. Due to their successful affiliate program, they have the most public extortions of any other group ever. Check out Jon’s new series below to better understand this group.
5. Avast releases a BianLian ransomware decryptor
Avast has released a decryptor for known variants of the BianLian ransomware. They state that the decryptor is a work in progress and that more variants will be added soon. This is very good news because BianLian has only been around for about 2 months and has around 70 victims. An average of about 1 victim every day, that we know about. You can read Avast’s write-up and find the decryptor in the references below.
6. New Belarusian group, INFINITY, claims to have breached the IRS
Finally, a new group from Belarus, INFINITY, claims they have breached the IRS and have access to information on American citizens. It is not yet confirmed, but the group is trying to post documents and screenshots for legitimacy. This story is ongoing.