The Royal Ransomware Group first emerged earlier this year, and so far has victimized dozens of companies around the world. The group appears to be operating under the supervision of other well known ransomware gangs, including Conti Group. The threat level from Royal attacks is HIGH and organizations should have precautionary steps to avoid falling victim.
Key Report Findings
- Unique approach to evade anti-ransomware defenses: Royal ransomware expands the concept of partial encryption, which means it has the ability to encrypt a predetermined portion of the file content and base its partial encryption on a flexible percentage encryption, which makes detection more challenging for anti-ransomware solutions.
- Multi-threaded ransomware: Royal ransomware employs multiple threads in order to accelerate the encryption process.
- Global ransomware operation: Royal ransomware operates around the world, and reportedly on its own. The group doesn't appear to use ransomware-as-a-service or to target a specific sector or country.
- High Severity: Cybereason assesses the threat level from Royal Ransomware to be HIGH given the rapid increase in attacks coming from this group over the past 60-90 days.
Ransomware attacks can be stopped. Cybereason offers the following recommendations to organizations to reduce their risk:
- Practice good security hygiene: For example, implement a security awareness program for employees and ensure operating systems and other software are regularly updated and patched.
- Confirm key players can be reached at any time of day: Critical response actions can be delayed when attacks occur over holidays and weekends.
- Conduct periodic table-top exercises and drills: Include key stakeholders from other functions beyondsecurity, such as Legal, Human Resources, IT, and top executives, so everyone knows their roles and responsibilities to ensure as smooth a response as possible.
- Implement clear isolation practices: This will stop any further ingress on the network and prevent ransomware from spreading to other devices. Security teams should be proficient at things like disconnecting a host, locking down a compromised account, and blocking a malicious domain.
- Consider locking down critical accounts when possible: The path attackers often take in propagating ransomware across a network is to escalate privileges to the admin domain-level and then deploy the ransomware. Teams should create highly secured, emergency-only accounts in the active directory that are only used when other operational accounts are temporarily disabled as a precaution or inaccessible during a ransomware attack.
- Deploy EDR on all endpoints: Endpoint detection and response (EDR) remains the quickest way for public and private sector businesses to address the ransomware scourge.
Cybereason is the XDR company, partnering with Defenders to end attacks at the endpoint, in the cloud and across the entire enterprise ecosystem. Only the AI-driven Cybereason Defense Platform provides planetary-scale data ingestion, operation-centric MalOp™ detection, and predictive response that is undefeated against modern ransomware and advanced attack techniques. Cybereason is a privately held international company headquartered in Boston with customers in more than 40 countries.
Learn more: https://www.cybereason.com/