Hunters International attacks IJM Corporation

Date:

February 23, 2024

World map

Overview

Title

Hunters International attacks IJM Corporation

Victim

IJM Corporation

Attacker

Hunters International

Location

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan

Size of Attack

Unknown/TBD

First Reported

February 23, 2024

Last Updated

October 31, 2022

Ransomware group Hunters International has attacked IJM Corporation in Malaysia. No other details of the attack have been disclosed. IJM began as the result of a merger between three medium-sized local construction companies – IGB Construction Sdn Bhd, Jurutama Sdn Bhd, and Mudajaya Sdn Bhd. IJM was formed in 1983 to compete as equals with well-capitalized foreign players who had entered the growing Malaysian construction industry. In 2008, IJM acquired the Road Builder Group to augment its position as one of the country's biggest builders. Hunters International, a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) group, emerged in Q3 of 2023 after the discovery of source code bearing resemblances to the infamous Hive ransomware strain. In October 2023, a security researcher's analysis of the ransomware used by Hunters revealed significant code overlaps with Hive ransomware. Subsequent analysis by Bitdefender came to the same findings, leading researchers to conclude that Hive operators have handed off their malicious tool to another threat actor. Despite this, Hunters International has denied any ties to the Hive operation. Intelligence suggests that Hunters International ransomware primarily aims to exfiltrate target data and extort victims with ransom demands for its return. One reported incident involved a plastic surgery clinic in the US, where approximately 248,000 files, including patient names and addresses, were exfiltrated. The ransomware encrypts files with the ".LOCKED" extension and leaves "Contact Us.txt" files in directories, instructing victims on how to initiate negotiation on the dark web. Successful exploitation by Hunters International typically results in significant data exfiltration prior to issuing a ransom demand, often tailored to the perceived value of the compromised organization.

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