A few days ago, the FBI issued a second warning to US companies about the ProLock ransomware, which steals date from violated networks before encrypting them systems of its victims. The notice 20200901-001 issued by the FBI on September 1 comes after the notice MI-000125-MW issued by the FBI on the same subject on May 4, 2020.
In the previous warning, the FBI warned companies that the ProLock decryptor was not working properly and that the data would be lost, as archives over 64MB may be corrupted during the decryption process.
ProLock ransomware started its activity as PwndLocker at the end of 2019, targeting both American businesses as well as local governments. PwndLocker was renamed ProLocker last March after fixing a bug that allowed encrypted files to be freely decrypted, and began scaling back to corporate networks.
The increase in ransomware activity was most likely the result of a collaboration with the QakBot terrorist gang banking trojan, which made it much easier access in the networks of young victims. Since March 2020, ProLock ransomware operators have been extracting information from their victims' devices before developing payloads their. ProLock ransomware operators then use the stolen data as a means of persuading victims' organizations to pay ransom starting at $ 175.000 and can reach over $ 660.000, depending on the size of the breached network.
To date, ProLock has successfully encrypted the networks of organizations around the world, from various industries, including healthcare, construction, finance and law, including government agencies. USA. ProLock operators have used a variety of methods to breach their victim systems, including phishing emails, which contained malicious QakBot attachments, the use of stolen credentials and exploiting configuration flaws in target systems.
Malicious agents have been spotted archiving stolen data and uploading it to cloud storage platforms such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Mega, with its help Rclone cloud storage sync command-line tool.
The FBI advises organizations affected by ProLock ransomware attacks not to pay the ransom they are being asked to pay, as it will encourage the ransomware gang to target other victims and even fund their future illegal "businesses".
However, the FBI acknowledges the damage that agencies could face in the face of such attacks and urges victims to report attacks as soon as their systems are infected with ProLock ransomware, regardless of whether they decide to pay for a decryptor or not.
Reporting the attack to the FBI for related information, such as phishing emails, recovered ransomware samples, ransom notes, and network traffic logs, could help prevent other attacks and identify the attackers.
In addition, the FBI recommends that US agencies back up their data periodically to an off-line / off-site backup site and keep it up to date. software to correct any security errors discovered by ProLock operators. Finally, organizations are advised to implement two-factor authentication (2FA) and disable unused RDP instances as well as automatic attachments to email clients.