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
Google+
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 Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. 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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
US Turning Up the Heat on North Korea's Cyber Threat Operations
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  9/16/2019
Fed Kaspersky Ban Made Permanent by New Rules
Dark Reading Staff 9/11/2019
NetCAT Vulnerability Is Out of the Bag
Dark Reading Staff 9/12/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16395
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-17
GnuCOBOL 2.2 has a stack-based buffer overflow in the cb_name() function in cobc/tree.c via crafted COBOL source code.
CVE-2019-16396
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-17
GnuCOBOL 2.2 has a use-after-free in the end_scope_of_program_name() function in cobc/parser.y via crafted COBOL source code.
CVE-2019-16199
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-17
eQ-3 Homematic CCU2 before 2.47.18 and CCU3 before 3.47.18 allow Remote Code Execution by unauthenticated attackers with access to the web interface via an HTTP POST request to certain URLs related to the ReGa core process.
CVE-2019-16391
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-17
SPIP before 3.1.11 and 3.2 before 3.2.5 allows authenticated visitors to modify any published content and execute other modifications in the database. This is related to ecrire/inc/meta.php and ecrire/inc/securiser_action.php.
CVE-2019-16392
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-17
SPIP before 3.1.11 and 3.2 before 3.2.5 allows prive/formulaires/login.php XSS via error messages.