Black Basta attacks Paterson & Cooke

Incident Date:

April 9, 2024

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Black Basta attacks Paterson & Cooke


Paterson & Cooke




Golden, USA

Colorado, USA

First Reported

April 9, 2024

Black Basta Ransomware Gang Targets Paterson & Cooke

The Black Basta ransomware gang has added Paterson & Cooke to its victim list, although no further details have been disclosed. Paterson & Cooke was founded as an engineering consultancy in 1991 by Angus Paterson and Robert Cooke, who specialize in the slurry pipeline and mine backfilling consulting services for the South African mining industry. More than three decades later, its expertise has grown to include slurry pipeline systems, tailings and mine waste technology, mine backfill, offshore engineering, and mineral processing. It has offices in Australia, Canada, Chile, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Six of these offices have comprehensive laboratory testing facilities.

Emergence and Tactics of Black Basta

Black Basta is a RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service) that emerged in early 2022 and is assessed by some researchers to be an offshoot of the disbanded Conti and REvil attack groups. The group routinely exfiltrates sensitive data from victims for additional extortion leverage. Black Basta engages in highly targeted attacks and is assessed to only work with a limited group of highly vetted affiliate attackers. Black Basta quickly became one of the most prolific attack groups in 2023 and was observed leveraging unique TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) for ingress, lateral movement, data exfiltration, and deployment of ransomware payloads.

Ransom Demands and Revenue

Ransom demands vary depending on the targeted organization, with reports that they can be as high as $2 million dollars. It is estimated that Black Basta exceeded $107 million in ransom revenue from more than 90 victims in less than two years.

Technical Details of Black Basta Ransomware

Black Basta continues to evolve its RaaS platform with ransomware payloads that can infect systems running both Windows and Linux. Black Basta is particularly adept at exploiting vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi running on enterprise servers. Black Basta ransomware is written in C++, can target both Windows and Linux systems, encrypts data with ChaCha20, and then the encryption key is encrypted with RSA-4096 for rapid encryption of the targeted network. In some cases, Black Basta leverages malware strains like Qakbot and exploits such as PrintNightmare during the infection process. Black Basta also favors abuse of insecure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) deployments, one of the leading infection vectors for ransomware.

Target Industries and Double Extortion

Black Basta typically targets manufacturing, transportation, construction, and related services, as well as telecommunications, the automotive sector, and healthcare providers. Black Basta also employs a double extortion scheme and maintains an active leaks website where they post exfiltrated data if an organization declines to pay the ransom demand.

Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.