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.

Endpoint

5/6/2019
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'Matrix'-Themed Ransomware Variant Spreads

MegaCortex uses a compromised domain controller in its attack.

The ransomware note sent by a newly spotted and active ransomware variant called MegaCortex sends a ransom note that reads as if it came from the voice of Lawrence Fishburne's character Morpheus, from The Matrix. The note interestingly doesn't include a ransom fee but, instead, an offer for "consultation on how to improve your companies [sic] cyber security" and a promise that taking the attackers up on that will "guarantee" they won't attack again.

MegaCortex last week was spotted by Sophos going after a large number of its enterprise customers across the US, Europe, and Canada — with 47 attack attempts occurring within 48 hours at one point.

Andrew Brandt, principal researcher at Sophos, says the victims reported a compromised domain controller as the originator of the attacks, and the attackers employed stolen admin credentials to run a PowerShell script in the attack via the compromised controller.

While Sophos is still investigating the new ransomware and its infection process, Brandt wrote in a blog post that MegaCortex seems to mainly be found among organizations with existing Emotet and Qbot infections. "If you are seeing alerts about Emotet or Qbot infections, those should take a high priority. Both of those bots can be used to distribute other malware, and it's possible that's how the MegaCortex infections got their start," he wrote.

Jessica Bair, senior manager of advanced threat solutions at Cisco Systems, says that in some ways MegaCortex is similar to other ransomware variants, with a couple of key exceptions. "It's unique in that it uses stolen credentials and the compromised domain controller it uses to run the batch scripts," Bair says.

Read Sophos' post here

[See Jessica Bair, senior manager of advanced threat solutions at Cisco Systems, present Tracking Ransomware: Using Behavior to Find New Threats, at the Security Pro Summit at Interop on May 21.]

 

 

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

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
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32812
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-02
Monkshu is an enterprise application server for mobile apps (iOS and Android), responsive HTML 5 apps, and JSON API services. In version 2.90 and earlier, there is a reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability in frontend HTTP server. The attacker can send in a carefully crafted URL along with a kn...
CVE-2021-32787
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-02
Sourcegraph is a code search and navigation engine. Sourcegraph before version 3.30.0 has two potential information leaks. The site-admin area can be accessed by regular users and all information and features are properly protected except for daily usage statistics and code intelligence uploads and ...
CVE-2021-32811
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-02
Zope is an open-source web application server. Zope versions prior to versions 4.6.3 and 5.3 have a remote code execution security issue. In order to be affected, one must use Python 3 for one's Zope deployment, run Zope 4 below version 4.6.3 or Zope 5 below version 5.3, and have the optional `Produ...
CVE-2021-21866
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-02
A unsafe deserialization vulnerability exists in the ObjectManager.plugin ProfileInformation.ProfileData functionality of CODESYS GmbH CODESYS Development System 3.5.16 and 3.5.17. A specially crafted file can lead to arbitrary command execution. An attacker can provide a malicious file to trigger t...
CVE-2021-27499
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-02
Ypsomed mylife Cloud, mylife Mobile Application, Ypsomed mylife Cloud: All versions prior to 1.7.2, Ypsomed mylife App: All versions prior to 1.7.5,The application layer encryption of the communication protocol between the Ypsomed mylife App and mylife Cloud uses non-random IVs, which allows man-in-...