BlackByte ransomware breached at least 3 US critical infrastructure organizations

Pierluigi Paganini February 14, 2022

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that the BlackByte ransomware gang has breached at least three organizations from US critical infrastructure sectors.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a joint cybersecurity advisory with the US Secret Services which revealed that the BlackByte ransomware group has breached at least three organizations from US critical infrastructure sectors in the last three months.

“This joint Cybersecurity Advisory was developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) to provide information on BlackByte ransomware. As of November 2021, BlackByte ransomware had compromised multiple US and foreign businesses, including entities in at least three US critical infrastructure sectors (government facilities, financial, and food & agriculture).” reads the advisory. “BlackByte is a Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) group that encrypts files on compromised Windows host systems, including physical and virtual servers.”

The BlackByte ransomware operation has been active since September 2021, in October 2021 researchers from Trustwave’s SpiderLabs released a decryptor that can allow victims of early versions of BlackByte ransomware to restore their files for free.

Government experts reported that the gang exploited a known Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability to gain access to some victims’ networks. Once gained access to the network, threat actors deployed tools to perform lateral movements and escalate privileges before exfiltrating and encrypting files.

The advisory includes indicators of compromise (IOCs) for the BlackByte ransomware operation that could allow defenders to detect the threat. The report includes MD5 hashes of suspicious ASPX files discovered on compromised Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) servers and a list of commands used by ransomware operators observed by the researchers.

The advisory also provides mitigations:

  • Implement regular backups of all data to be stored as air gapped, password protected copies offline. Ensure these copies are not accessible for modification or deletion from any system where the original data resides.
  • Implement network segmentation, such that all machines on your network are notaccessible from every other machine.
  • Install and regularly update antivirus software on all hosts, and enable real time detection.
  • Install updates/patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as updates/patches are released.
  • Review domain controllers, servers, workstations, and active directories for new or unrecognized user accounts.
  • Audit user accounts with administrative privileges and configure access controls with least privilege in mind. Do not give all users administrative privileges.
  • Disable unused remote access/Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) ports and monitor remote access/RDP logs for any unusual activity.
  • Consider adding an email banner to emails received from outside your organization.
  • Disable hyperlinks in received emails.
  • Use double authentication when logging into accounts or services.
  • Ensure routine auditing is conducted for all accounts.
  • Ensure all the identified IOCs are input into the network SIEM for continuous monitoring and alerts.

Recently the San Francisco 49ers NFL team has fallen victim to a BlackByte ransomware attack, the news was reported by The Record.

The team disclosed the attack after that the ransomware gang added the team to the list of its victims on its dark web leak site.

San Francisco 49ers blackbyte ransomware

The team told The Record that it immediately launched an investigation into the attack and took steps to contain the incident with the help of third-party cybersecurity firms, it also notified law enforcement.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ransomware)

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