The BlackCat/ALPHV ransomware gang has attacked The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates. The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates is a law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. BlackCat/ALPHV posted The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates to its data leak site on October 21st but provided no further details. BlackCat/ALPHV was first observed in late 2021 and maintains a well-developed RaaS platform that encrypts by way of an AES algorithm. The code is highly customizable and includes JSON configurations for affiliate customization. BlackCat/ALPHV is adept at disabling security tools and evading analysis and is likely the most advanced ransomware family in the wild. BlackCat/ALPHV is capable of employing multiple encryption routines, displays advanced self-propagation, and hinders hypervisors for obfuscations and anti-analysis. BlackCat/ALPHV can impact systems running Windows, VMWare ESXi and Linux including Debian, ReadyNAS, Ubuntu, and Synology distributions. BlackCat/ALPHV became one of the more active RaaS platforms over the course of 2022, and attack volumes in Q1 2023 continued to increase although it was overtaken by Cl0p in number of attacks in Q1 2023. BlackCat/ALPHV typically demands ransoms in the $400,000 to $3 million range but has exceeded $5 million. BlackCat/ALPHV recently released an API for their leak site to increase visibility for their attacks and put more pressure on victims to pay the ransom. BlackCat/ALPHV was the first ransomware developers to employ Rust, a secure programming language that offers exceptional performance for concurrent processing. BlackCat/ALPHV deletes all Volume Shadow Copies using the vssadmin.exe utility and wmic to thwart rollback attempts and attains privilege escalation by leveraging the CMSTPLUA COM interface and bypasses User Account Control (UAC). BlackCat/ALPHV encrypts files with the ChaCha20 or the AES algorithm, opting for faster encryption versus stronger encryption by employing several modes of intermittent encryption. BlackCat/ALPHV also employs a custom tool called Exmatter for data exfiltration. BlackCat/ALPHV released a new ransomware version called Sphynx in August with improved security evasion capabilities and was observed harvesting One-Time Passwords (OTP) to bypass security tools to drop the Sphynx payload and encrypt Azure cloud storage deployments. Researchers also observed a BlackCat/ALPHV variant that embeds tools like Impacket and RemCom to facilitate lateral movement and remote code execution. BlackCat/ALPHV has a wide variability in targeting, but most often focuses on the healthcare, pharmaceutical, financial, manufacturing, legal and professional services industries. BlackCat/ALPHV also exfiltrates victim data prior to the execution of the ransomware – including from cloud-based deployments - to be leveraged in double extortion schemes to compel payment of the ransom demand. They have one of the more generous RaaS offerings, offering as much as 80-90% cut to affiliates. BlackCat/ALPHV is also noted for putting their leaks website on the public web instead of dark web.
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