Numerous organizations may have been impacted by a mass-ransomware attack campaign exploiting a vulnerability in the widely used GoAnywhere data transfer tool.
“Over the past few days, the Russia-linked Cl0p gang has added several other organizations to its dark web leak site, which it uses to extort companies further by threatening to publish the stolen files unless a financial ransom demand is paid,” reports TechCrunch.
“TechCrunch has learned of dozens of organizations that used the affected GoAnywhere file transfer software at the time of the ransomware attack, suggesting more victims are likely to come forward. However, while the number of victims of the mass-hack is widening, the known impact is murky at best.”
The Cl0p gang claims to have breached as many as 130 organizations via GoAnywhere bug, for which the tool’s producer Fortra has already released a patch for back on February 7, but the intrusions may have already occurred, and likely have already exfiltrated sensitive data from the targets.
Takeaway: The mass exploitation of the GoAnywhere vulnerability in this wave of Cl0p ransomware attacks is immensely concerning. It is evidence of how ransomware operators continue to leverage automation to identify exposed organizations who may not have had the time or resources to patch against known vulnerabilities.
If Cl0p is claiming they have compromised more than ten-dozen organizations in this recent campaign, it is likely they have already successfully exfiltrated large amounts of confidential information from the victims. There are likely numerous other targets who are at this very moment experiencing data loss as a precursor to the detonation of a ransomware payload, and they don't even realize they are in the midst of a major cyberattack.
These attacks have a long tail. They typically involve weeks or even months of effort by attackers to infiltrate as much of the target network and exfiltrate as much data as possible before encrypting systems and data to demand the highest ransom payment possible.
There are only two real approaches to defeating ransomware attacks. First, is to ensure the organization is prepared to detect and prevent the attack anywhere in the attack chain.
Organizations must be ready to disrupt attacks at initial ingress, when attackers move laterally, command and control is established, data exfiltration begins, an attempt to execute malicious binaries or scripts, legitimate system tools are abused, and more. The other is to assure that in the event of a successful ransomware attack, the organization is resilient. The goal should be to minimize the duration, spread and overall impact, and get back to normal as quickly as possible. Both strategies need to be in play simultaneously.
These are multi-stage attacks, and that means we have multiple opportunities to detect and stop them. Organizations require both a robust prevention and an agile resilience strategy to defend against this wave of ransomware attacks. This approach includes endpoint protection solutions, patch management, data backups, access controls, employee awareness training, and organizational procedure and resilience testing into all ransomware readiness plans to be successful.
Halcyon.ai is the industry’s first dedicated, adaptive security platform that combines multiple advanced proprietary prevention engines along with AI models focused specifically on stopping ransomware – talk to a Halcyon expert today to find out more.