Why BlackCat Ransomware Should Concern You

An intentionally grainy image of a hooded figure with cat's eyes for blackcat ransomware

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about ransomware – the extremely dangerous form of malware that encrypts an organization’s data assets and holds them for ransom.

Often, if not paid promptly, criminals behind ransomware attacks also attempt to expose your data publicly. Needless to say, no company wants to get infected with ransomware of any variety.

Yes, more than one variety of ransomware exists, and each one carries with it their own problems.

One such variant, dubbed BlackCat ransomware, has become popular due to the ease with which it can be deployed against your company’s infrastructure.

Let’s take a look under the hood of this ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) threat, and how you can combat it, along with other forms of ransomware.

What is Ransomware-as-a-Service?

In many ways, ransomware gangs operate the same as legitimate businesses. A person or group creates a product or service, and sells it to customers.

And, ransomware-as-a-service groups work in the same manner, albeit on the wrong side of the law.

An RaaS offering provides customers with access to ransomware software for an upfront fee or percentage of the profits made from the ransomware.

This allows non-technical criminals, with no coding experience, to launch sophisticated attacks against large and small companies.

Unfortunately, the rise of RaaS offerings makes it easy for anyone to become a cybercriminal. It’s an unpleasant example of how a good idea like software-as-a-service can be corrupted by malicious minds.

If you care about your IT security, you should absolutely be concerned about RaaS products and the potential damage they can cause.

Related: What is Crime-as-a-Service, and why is it plaguing small businesses? (click image to learn more)

So, What Is BlackCat Ransomware?

To start, BlackCat ransomware is an RaaS offering first observed in November 2021.

It’s unique in that it’s coded in the Rust programming language, which isn’t usually employed in ransomware.

So, why should you care what computer code it uses?

Well, while the particular computer code might not matter to you, the result should.

You see, the use of this language helps it evade detection from older security tools, which may not have the capacity to identify the new BlackCat ransomware.

A successful BlackCat ransomware attack results in the encryption and exfiltration of the target’s data for more effective extortion.

Additionally, BlackCat ransomware targets multiple devices and potential entry points when launching an attack. In fact, the malware’s developers have established affiliations with multiple groups of threat actors.

This makes compounds the difficulties involved in predicting the delivery and execution of the ransomware.

Commonly exploited vectors, such as compromised credentials and infected remote applications, are no used to spread BlackCat ransomware, as well as vulnerabilities in Exchange Server.

So far, successful BlackCat attacks occurred on Windows and Linux devices, as well as virtual machine instances.

How to Handle Ransomware Attacks

Handling ransomware attacks requires a multi-faceted approach that includes the following components.

Employee education and training – To start with, ensure everyone in your organization receives training to spot and avoid phishing scams. These scams generally become the first link in an attack, by compromising credentials or clicking a malicious link.

Data backups – If an attack does occur, you’re going to need backup – data backups, that is.

Regularly scheduled and encrypted backups, stored in a separate, secure location, may be necessary to recover from a successful attack. That’s because even if you pay a ransom, you have no guarantee of data recovery.

So, you’ll want to conduct regular tests to ensure the viability of your backups, as well as your ability to recover any affected systems.

Control and monitor network traffic – Construct firewalls to keep unauthorized users out of your computing environment. Authorize and authenticate all external connections.

A photo of a series of 1's and 0's with a picture of a lock and text which reads ransomware, How ransomware works
Related: Ever wonder how ransomware works? We break it all down, right here (click image to learn more)

Implement a Managed Detection and Response Solution

Even with proper security training and backup procedures in place, it only takes one mistake for a major problem to arise. And, that’s exactly why having an experienced team on your side can deliver the peace of mind you need.

After all, there’s never a reason to go it alone.

Blue Bastion, along with our network specialist division, Ideal Integrations, can help. We offer our customers a comprehensive and effective managed detection and response solution, including:

  • 24×7 security monitoring of infrastructure, applications, and data resources;

  • Complete visibility to all traffic from a unified security management platform;

  • Detection of unauthorized lateral movement that often indicates the presence of a threat actor;

  • A framework to meet third-party and compliance requirements;

  • Access to a dedicated response team to help investigate and recover from a malicious intrusion like a ransomware attack.

If you’re ready to reach out for assistance, or just curious to learn more, simply contact us 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.

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