Researchers from the security technology company Sentinel One analyzed the "anatomy" of a ransomware attack, showing how hackers invaded a network and developed ransomware in just two weeks. In particular, security researchers examined one server used by hackers in October 2019 to turn a relatively "minor" security breach into a corporate network into a catastrophic attack using Ryuk ransomware. These data can be very important for understanding the tactics and techniques that hackers use in their attacks.
Initially, security investigators found that the network was infected Trickbot malware. Just the network violated by Trickbot malware, hackers began searching for what they had managed to obtain access, while at the same time looking for ways to make money from this achievement.
One of Sentinel One's security investigators, Joshua Platt, told ZDNet that after a while, hackers began "scanning" the network, trying to map it out and figure out what it was. The ultimate goal of their mission was to extract money from the network and its data. In other words, they just realized they could make money from it infringement, persistently sought illegal profit.
In addition, in the event that the researchers examined, the hackers decided to exploit the network breach, they used tools such as PowerTrick and Cobalt Strike to secure their stay on the network and proceed with further exploration, looking for open doors and more Appliances to which they could gain access. They then proceeded to the ransomware phase of the attack. It took about two weeks from the initial infection with TrickBot to the start of the Ryuk malware attack, according to Sentinel One, based on the data it collected.
The Ryuk malware first appeared in August 2018 and was responsible for a number of global attacks, according to an advisory issued last year by the UK's National Security Center in cyberspace.
Concerning the ransom required for ransomware, these are defined on the basis of the hacker's ability to pay the victim, and it may take days or even months from the initial infection to the activation of the ransomware, as the hackers need time to identify the most critical network systems. However, the NCSC said that this delay gave the targets a chance to stop activating the ransomware if they could detect this first infection.
In accordance with FBI, Ryuk malware is making a huge profit for the hackers behind it, as it brought them about $ 61 million in ransom between February 2018 and October 2019. The success of Ryuk malware in forcing companies to pay ransom means that Hackers have a way of evolving and stepping up their attacks. Their power will be further enhanced as they now have more money and more ability to recruit even more talent. Ransomware also continues to evolve. According to Platt, in the beginning of ransomware, hackers demanded a ransom of $ 300, but now they are trading millions of dollars. The next step, according to Platt, will be to look at more sophisticated blackmail attempts, arguing that hackers are looking for information on networks that will be their best "weapon" to blackmail target companies.