Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ABTV

End of Bibblio RCM includes -->
11/22/2019
06:00 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

Artisans & Commercials Gang Up on Third Parties

Cybersecurity and intelligence firm AdvIntel has reported about a trend it has seen happening in the ransomware arena.

Cybersecurity and intelligence firm AdvIntel, which likes to call itself "boutique," has reported about a trend it has seen happening in the ransomware arena.

Drawing on some previous work it has done on this topic, they draw the overall malware community as consisting of two orthogonally aligned crimeware approaches: artisan and commercial. They find this divide to be very prevalent in the Russian malware community.

Artisans are, according to the report, "talented individuals who can meticulously develop attack frameworks, steadily apply social engineering, and persistently lurk from the periphery to the center. These operations are similar to art, while efforts, time, and investments put into them will only be justified in case there is a powerful buyer who knows the real value of such work."

The commercials just want money with little investment on their part. But the ransomware crowd is smart enough to back with money the actors that, in turn, will make them more money.

Both groups seem to have found a sort of common ground in supply-chain attacks. Supply-chain techniques are complicated, and arise from complicated situations. Spray-and-pay techniques commonly used to disseminate ransomware by commercials may not be able to ascertain which particular target offers them the best chance of reward. And why perform a crime without a realistic chance of payout?

An artisan may know how to get a payload somewhere, but the payload has to pay off handsomely for them to see any benefit for their efforts. There is a self-interested mutual need and dynamic between the artisans and commercials in such a situation.

AdvIntel found specific examples in recent months of attempts at cooperation between the two groups. They found in September and October 2019, Russian-speaking ransomware developers and RaaS affiliate program managers talked to China-based "bc.monster" who may be currently working as an affiliate of at least two RaaS commercial groups.

They also itemize how a Russian-speaking hacker "x444x0" was also a participant of the BURAN RaaS team. The actor obtained access to a segment of a telecommunication network and began navigating through it, escalating the group's privileges, all the while trying to sell them their own access.

Of course, they also note the exceptions. They found that some prefer to accomplish the supply-chain attacks all by themselves. "amiak" a Russian-speaking ransomware collective formed in June 2015 which specializes in targeting corporations, refuses to rely on others, even though third-party attacks and other offensive operations requiring persistency are their ultimate specialization.

A supply-chain attack unites the seemingly ununitable in AdvIntel's view: massive scale-based automated dissemination of ransomware and selectively targeted attacks requiring the persistent presence and protracted recognizance. They also think the unifying trend will persist in the future.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Improving Enterprise Cybersecurity With XDR
Enterprises are looking at eXtended Detection and Response technologies to improve their abilities to detect, and respond to, threats. While endpoint detection and response is not new to enterprise security, organizations have to improve network visibility, expand data collection and expand threat hunting capabilites if they want their XDR deployments to succeed. This issue of Tech Insights also includes: a market overview for XDR from Omdia, questions to ask before deploying XDR, and an XDR primer.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-34918
PUBLISHED: 2022-07-04
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.18.9. A type confusion bug in nft_set_elem_init (leading to a buffer overflow) could be used by a local attacker to escalate privileges, a different vulnerability than CVE-2022-32250. (The attacker can obtain root access, but must start with an u...
CVE-2022-34829
PUBLISHED: 2022-07-04
Zoho ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus before 6203 allows a denial of service (application restart) via a crafted payload to the Mobile App Deployment API.
CVE-2022-31600
PUBLISHED: 2022-07-04
NVIDIA DGX A100 contains a vulnerability in SBIOS in the SmmCore, where a user with high privileges can chain another vulnerability to this vulnerability, causing an integer overflow, possibly leading to code execution, escalation of privileges, denial of service, compromised integrity, and informat...
CVE-2022-31601
PUBLISHED: 2022-07-04
NVIDIA DGX A100 contains a vulnerability in SBIOS in the SmbiosPei, which may allow a highly privileged local attacker to cause an out-of-bounds write, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, compromised integrity, and information disclosure.
CVE-2022-31602
PUBLISHED: 2022-07-04
NVIDIA DGX A100 contains a vulnerability in SBIOS in the IpSecDxe, where a user with elevated privileges and a preconditioned heap can exploit an out-of-bounds write vulnerability, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, data integrity impact, and information disclosure.