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
Google+
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. 
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25595
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x. The PCI passthrough code improperly uses register data. Code paths in Xen's MSI handling have been identified that act on unsanitized values read back from device hardware registers. While devices strictly compliant with PCI specifications shouldn't be ...
CVE-2020-5783
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the login functionality does not contain any CSRF protection mechanisms.
CVE-2020-11031
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In GLPI before version 9.5.0, the encryption algorithm used is insecure. The security of the data encrypted relies on the password used, if a user sets a weak/predictable password, an attacker could decrypt data. This is fixed in version 9.5.0 by using a more secure encryption library. The library c...
CVE-2020-5781
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the langSelection parameter is stored in the luci configuration file (/etc/config/luci) by the authenticator.htmlauth function. When modified with arbitrary javascript, this causes a denial-of-service condition for all other users.
CVE-2020-5782
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, if a user logs in and sets the ‘wan_type’ parameter, the wan interface for the device will become unreachable, which results in a denial of service condition for devices dependent on this connection.