INC Ransom attacks North American University

Incident Date:

January 29, 2024

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INC Ransom attacks North American University


North American University


Inc Ransom


Stanford, USA

Texas, USA

First Reported

January 29, 2024

INC Ransom Claims Attack on North American University

INC Ransom claimed a ransomware attack on North American University. Approximately 108 GB of data, including student records, HR, financial data, and admission documents, have been exfiltrated and fully published. North American University is a small university located in Houston, TX.

Background of INC Ransom

INC Ransom was first observed in the summer of 2023, and it is unclear if they maintain a RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service) affiliate operation or are a closed group. INC uses common Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) such as leveraging compromised RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) credentials to gain access and move laterally in a targeted environment.

Techniques Used by INC

INC has been observed delivering ransomware using legitimate tools like WMIC and PSEXEC and uses other Living-off-the-Land (LOTL) techniques, abusing applications including MSPaint, WordPad, NotePad, MS Internet Explorer, MS Windows Explorer, and AnyDesk for lateral movement. INC has also been observed abusing tools like Esentutl for reconnaissance and MegaSync for data exfiltration. INC is written in C++ and uses AES-128 in CTR mode to encrypt files, and it also has a Linux version. It is unclear if INC employs any advanced security tool evasion techniques, and there are indications that they may attempt to delete Volume Shadow Copies (VSS) to hinder encryption rollback attempts.

Targets and Practices of INC

INC targets a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, retail, IT, hospitality, pharma, construction, and the public sector. INC practices double extortion and maintains a leaks site for double extortion, threatening to expose victims. INC has made good on threats to expose sensitive data if a target does not 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.