LockBit ransomware group claimed an attack on Preston & Mountaineer Contractors. The group has exfiltrated 18 GB of data, including tax forms, project details, customers’ data, agreements, invoices, and HR-related documents. All of the exfiltrated data has been fully published. Preston & Mountaineer Contractors provide energy contracting services. LockBit is a RaaS that has been active since 2019 and is highly adept at security tool evasion as well as boasting an extremely fast encryption speed. LockBit is noted for multiple means of extortion where the victim may also be asked to pay a ransom any sensitive information exfiltrated in the attack in addition to paying a ransom for the encryption key. LockBit employs publicly available file sharing services and a custom tool dubbed Stealbit for data exfiltration. LockBit was by far the most active attack group in 2022 and continued to be the leading attack group in the first half of 2023. LockBit has demanded ransoms in excess of $50 million and hit the world’s biggest computer chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), with a $70 million ransom demand in July. LockBit continues to innovate their RaaS platform following the release of LockBit 3.0 in June of 2022, and introduced what is considered to be the first iteration of a macOS ransomware variant in April of 2023. The latest versions incorporate advanced anti-analysis features and are a threat to both Windows and Linux systems. LockBit 3.0 is modular and configured with multiple execution options that direct the behavior of the ransomware on the affected systems. LockBit employs a custom Salsa20 algorithm to encrypt files. LockBit takes advantage of remote desktop protocol (RDP) exploitation for most infections, and spreads on the network by way of Group Policy Objects and PsExec using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. LockBit appears to also still be supporting the older LockBit 2.0 variant from 2021. LockBit tends to target larger enterprises across any industry vertical with the ability to pay high ransom demands, but also has tended to favor Healthcare organizations. LockBit is a very well-run affiliate program and a great reputation amongst the affiliate (attacker) community for the maturity of the platform as well as for offering high payouts of as much as 75% of the ransom proceeds.
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