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.

Threat Intelligence

6/3/2019
04:55 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Baltimore Ransomware Attacker Was Behind Now-Suspended Twitter Account

Researchers at Armor were able to confirm the person or persons behind a Twitter account that appeared to be leaking confidential files was the actual ransomware attacker that hit the city.

A now-suspended Twitter account that taunted and warned the mayor of Baltimore to pay the ransom for the city's hijacked servers has been confirmed to be that of the actual attacker who launched the May 7 ransomware campaign on the city.

Researchers at security firm Armor who have been investigating the documents leaked via the now-defunct account — which was suspended by Twitter this afternoon after posting a tweet riddled with obscenities — earlier told Dark Reading they had suspected the account was run by the actual attacker. 

Now they say they can confirm it was, indeed, that of the attacker after he or she posted the attack panel interface used to communicate with the city in the wake of the attack, which locked down Baltimore's servers with the so-called Robbinhood ransomware.

Eric Sifford, Armor security researcher, and Joe Stewart, an independent security researcher working on behalf of Armor said in a statement of their tying the attacker to the Twitter account: "We believe that when the Baltimore hacker posted, verbatim, the last two tweets from the Robbinhood Twitter profile into the ransomware panel (which is specific only to the city of Baltimore) that the attacker(s) had totally lost their patience and was fed up with anyone questioning their validity and capability to decrypt the city’s data."

The attacker today via the Twitter account also warned that the city had until June 7 to pay the ransom of $17,600 in bitcoin per system — a total of about $76,280 — even though the original ransom note said the data would no longer be recoverable after 10 days.

The city had vowed not to pay the ransom, although Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young hinted last week that paying was not out of the question. The attack is estimated to have cost the city around $18.2 million, according to the city budget office.

Efforts to reach the mayor's office have been unsuccessful. 

The Robbinhood attacker's Twitter account first appeared on May 12, posting what it claimed was a screenshot of sensitive documents and user credentials from the city of Baltimore. The data still has not fully recovered from the ransomware attack, which disrupted everything from real estate transactions awaiting deeds, bill payments for residents, and services such as email and telecommunications. Email remains down for most city operations.

Armor initially said the account could either have been the real attacker, a city employee, someone with access to the documents — or a hoax. 

The same ransomware recently hit the city of Greenville, N.C., as well as several power companies in India last month, according to Armor.

Related Content:

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
Kelly Jackson Higgins
50%
50%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
6/4/2019 | 9:35:11 AM
Re: Twitter should help the authorities
Pretty sure LE was already tracking the account and that it's very likely they have info on the account.
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2019 | 9:34:07 AM
Twitter should help the authorities
If they have any ethics, they should forward IP address so the scum can be tracked down. 
When It Comes To Security Tools, More Isn't More
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  1/11/2021
US Capitol Attack a Wake-up Call for the Integration of Physical & IT Security
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  1/11/2021
IoT Vendor Ubiquiti Suffers Data Breach
Dark Reading Staff 1/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3166
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
An issue was discovered on ASUS DSL-N14U-B1 1.1.2.3_805 devices. An attacker can upload arbitrary file content as a firmware update when the filename Settings_DSL-N14U-B1.trx is used. Once this file is loaded, shutdown measures on a wide range of services are triggered as if it were a real update, r...
CVE-2020-29446
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
Affected versions of Atlassian Fisheye & Crucible allow remote attackers to browse local files via an Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR) vulnerability in the WEB-INF directory. The affected versions are before version 4.8.5.
CVE-2020-15864
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-17
An issue was discovered in Quali CloudShell 9.3. An XSS vulnerability in the login page allows an attacker to craft a URL, with a constructor.constructor substring in the username field, that executes a payload when the user visits the /Account/Login page.
CVE-2021-3113
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-17
Netsia SEBA+ through 0.16.1 build 70-e669dcd7 allows remote attackers to discover session cookies via a direct /session/list/allActiveSession request. For example, the attacker can discover the admin's cookie if the admin account happens to be logged in when the allActiveSession request occurs, and ...
CVE-2020-25533
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
An issue was discovered in Malwarebytes before 4.0 on macOS. A malicious application was able to perform a privileged action within the Malwarebytes launch daemon. The privileged service improperly validated XPC connections by relying on the PID instead of the audit token. An attacker can construct ...