The Akira ransomware gang has attacked A123 Systems. A123 systems is a developer and manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate batteries and energy storage systems. It is a subsidiary of the Chinese Wanxiang Group Holdings. Akira posted A123 Systems to its data leak site on July 11th, claiming to have stolen more than 350GB of data. The Akira ransomware gang, first identified in May 2023, utilizes the Windows Restart Manager API to effectively close processes or terminate Windows services that might be actively using a file, thereby allowing the encryption process to proceed unhindered. A ransom note named "akira_readme.txt" is placed in each computer folder affected by the ransomware. This note serves as a communication from the attackers, explaining the situation and providing links to the Akira data leak site and negotiation site. The ransom note issued by the Akira group contains a chilling warning: "Regarding your data, in the event that we fail to reach an agreement, we will attempt to sell your personal information, trade secrets, databases, source codes, and anything else deemed valuable on the dark market to multiple threat actors simultaneously. Subsequently, all of this compromised information will be publicly exposed on our blog." Like other ransomware groups, the Akira gang infiltrates corporate networks and expands its reach to other connected devices. After acquiring Windows domain admin credentials, the threat actors deploy ransomware across the entire network. Before encrypting the files, the attackers take the additional step of exfiltrating sensitive corporate data. This stolen information is used as leverage during their extortion tactics, as they warn victims that the data will be made public unless a ransom payment is made. The Akira gang has invested considerable effort into designing their data leak website, which features a retro aesthetic and allows visitors to navigate it using command inputs.
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