What You Need to Know About LockBit Ransomware

Ransomware remains a particularly damaging form of malware.

First, it gains entry into a victim’s system, encrypts its files, and holds them hostage until a financial ransom is paid. It’s extremely disruptive, and can quickly cripple your organization by targeting mission-critical systems, and essentially shutting them down.

And, unfortunately, many types of ransomware threaten your business every day.

While many varieties exist, Lockbit ransomware ranks as one of the most dangerous you should know about.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into it, and find out what makes it so devastating to businesses everywhere.

What Is LockBit Ransomware?

LockBit ransomware is a popular choice among cybercriminals.

Recently, it was even linked to an attack on Royal Mail, the UK’s largest mail delivery service. The attack forced the company to halt its international shipping services as they attempt to recover.

Criminals using LockBit locked and encrypted devices used for international shipping, and then generated ransom notes on the company’s printers.

As of right now, some controversy exists over who exactly conducted the attack.

However, while this attack is recent, the LockBit ransomware variant is nothing new.

First seen in 2019, it was initially called the “.abcd” virus, due to the file extension used when encrypting a victim’s files.

A photo of a hand that appears to be writing out the words Cybersecurity: the benefits of red teaming
Related: The Major Benefits of Red Teaming (click image to learn more)

LockBit Ransomware Characteristics

One of the defining characteristics of LockBit is that it self-replicates. That means once infrastructure becomes compromised with ransomware, it spreads without further manual input or direction needed.

This makes it especially dangerous if an intrusion goes undetected and uncontained immediately, as it can quickly infect a large part of a computing environment, multiplying exponentially along the way.

Another major problem with LockBit is its availability in the cloud as ransomware-as-a-service. You see, just like any legitimate software-as-a-service products, criminals maintain their own version of the service system, too.

This enables the malware to be used by anyone willing to pay for the custom for-hire attacks and split the profits with LockBit’s developers.

In addition to its ability to spread itself, LockBit ransomware is what’s known as a targeted ransomware. This means it conducts selective attacks on valuable targets, rather than randomly spreading through a company’s environment.

And, it propagates using familiar tools, like Windows Powershell, which can make it difficult for endpoint security systems to identify and flag as malware.

What an Attack Looks Like

So, what exactly does a LockBit ransomware attack look like?

Typically, they follow the same three-step process: exploit, infiltrate, and deploy. Here’s how it breaks down.

  • Exploit – First, attackers must exploit a weakness in your network. Techniques such as phishing, social engineering, and brute-force attacks may be used to initially enter a targeted system.

  • Infiltrate – After gaining access to the target, LockBit ransomware independently performs activities to complete the attack setup. It makes use of post-exploitation tools to obtain escalated privileges, necessary to launch the attack. The software also moves laterally through the environment to search for viable targets.

  • Deploy – The final step involves deploying the encryption payload across the identified targets. The ransomware can use a single compromised system to issue commands that download and run the malware on other machines. LockBit locks all system files, which can only be unlocked with the cybercriminal’s proprietary decryption tool.

    Copies of a text ransom note are left in every system folder.

At this point, victims must decide how to respond to the attack. Without viable recovery methods, they may be tempted or forced to pay the ransom.

cybersecurity awareness training
Related: How often should you perform cybersecurity training? (click image to learn more)

Protecting Your Company From Ransomware

Obviously, the best defense against ransomware remains keep it out of your infrastructure in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, and a single slip-up can result in LockBit finding its way into your environment.

Now, if you have a solid data-backup strategy in place, you’ll certainly have more options available. But, although you can restore that data, you may still face tough decisions. There’s always the threat of bad press, or sensitive data leaked to the public.

Once ransomware gains entry, measures need to be taken immediately to limit the damage it can cause. Removing it quickly and limiting its spread remains the immediate goal.

Fortunately, it’s not a task you need to undertake alone. Blue Bastion, along with our partner division Ideal Integrations, can help your company respond to any cybersecurity incident, such as a LockBit ransomware attack.

Our team of cybersecurity experts will help contain and limit the extent of any incident. We utilize people, processes, and toolsets to remove malware from your environment and help your company return to normal business operations.

Simply contact our team at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and our team of cybersecurity experts will create and execute the ultimate security plan to protect your organization.

And, as always, stay vigilant.

Secure Your Business With Blue Bastion - Contact Us Today!