The Cl0p ransomware gang has attacked the University of Georgia. The University of Georgia (UGA) is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, USA. Established in 1785, it is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. UGA has a rich history, a diverse academic offering, and a strong commitment to research, education, and public service. Cl0p posted the University of Georgia to its data leak site on August 16th. Cl0p is a RaaS platform first observed in 2019. Cl0p has advanced anti-analysis capabilities and anti-virtual machine analysis to prevent investigations in an emulated environment like those commonly used by security tools. Cl0p is increasingly using automation to exploit known vulnerabilities to infiltrate targets, as well as a SQL injection zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362) that installs a web shell – a rarity amongst ransomware operators. Attacks by Cl0p surged in Q1 of 2023 as the gang leveraged patchable exploits for the GoAnywhere file transfer software to compromise more than 100 victims in a matter of weeks, although it is unknown how well they were able to monetize the attacks. Cl0p is likely to be leveraging automation to identify exposed organizations who have not patched against known vulnerability, which is why we are seeing so many new victims. Ransom demands vary depending on the target and average around $3 million dollars but have been reported as to be as high as $20 million. Ransom amounts are likely to continue to grow as Clop focuses more on the exfiltration of sensitive data.
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