The Most Harmful Ransomware Teams of 2022 | Hyperlink Tech

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2022 marked one other 12 months wherein ransomware proved to be one of many world’s most pernicious cyber threats. Focusing on victims each massive and small, ransomware gangs proved that they may nonetheless wreak havoc regardless of efforts by regulation enforcement and governments to crack down on them. Though a wide range of these legal teams litter the panorama of our on-line world, some had been particularly harmful and harmful of their ransomware assaults all year long. Listed below are 4 such ransomware teams.

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ALPHV (Black Cat)

ALPHV, also called BlackCat, makes a speciality of ransomware as a service by means of which it presents the mandatory malware and infrastructure to associates who then perform the precise assaults. Though seemingly new to the ransomware panorama, having appeared in 2021, ALPHV is allegedly related to the BlackMatter/DarkSide group answerable for the notorious Colonial Pipeline ransomware assault in 2021.

How ALPHV operates

By infiltrating its victims by exploiting identified safety flaws or weak account credentials, ALPHV pressures organizations into paying the ransom by launching distributed denial-of-service assaults towards them. The group additionally likes to publicly expose stolen information by means of a search engine of their victims’ information leaks.

The group targets public and non-profit organizations in addition to massive firms, based on Brad Crompton, director of intelligence at cyber risk intelligence supplier Intel 471. Throughout the third quarter of the 12 months, this ransomware variant affected 30 organizations. , affecting actual property companies, skilled service and consulting firms, producers of commercial and shopper merchandise, and expertise firms. In September, ALPHV claimed accountability for assaults on airports, pipeline operators, gasoline stations, oil refineries, and different important infrastructure suppliers.

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Appeared in April 2022, the Black Basta RaaS group is allegedly made up of former members of the Conti and REvil ransomware gangs, with whom it shares related techniques, strategies, and procedures. With extremely expert and skilled group members and associates, Black Basta is more and more having access to organizations by exploiting safety vulnerabilities with out patches and publicly out there supply code, Crompton mentioned.

How does Black Basta assault his victims?

Black Basta usually depends on double extortion strategies and threatens to publicly leak stolen information except the ransom is paid. The group additionally deploys DDoS assaults to persuade its victims to pay the ransom. In some instances, Black Basta members have demanded thousands and thousands of {dollars} from their victims to maintain the stolen information non-public.

Ransomware assaults stemming from Black Basta affected 50 organizations within the third quarter of 2022, based on Intel 471. The sectors most affected by these ransomware assaults included industrial and shopper merchandise, skilled providers and consulting, expertise and media, and sciences. of life and medical care. Amongst completely different international locations, the US was the highest goal of the group through the quarter with 62% of all reported assaults.


Rising in early 2022, Hive rapidly made a reputation for itself as one of the energetic ransomware teams. The variety of assaults by this gang elevated 188% from February to March, based on the NCC’s March Cyber ​​Menace Pulse report. This ransomware variant was additionally one of many 4 most watched through the third quarter of the 12 months, mentioned Intel 471.

What sorts of companies does Hive goal?

Historically targeted on the commercial sector, Hive has additionally targeted on tutorial and academic providers, in addition to science and healthcare firms, together with power, useful resource and agriculture companies. Final quarter, Hive ransomware affected 15 international locations, with the US and UK the highest two targets, respectively.

The group is quick, reportedly encrypting anyplace from tons of of megabytes to greater than 4 gigabytes of information per minute. To assist perform its assaults, Hive hires penetration testers, entry brokers and risk actors, Crompton mentioned. In August 2022, a suspected Hive ransomware operator reported that he used phishing emails because the preliminary assault vector.


With 192 assaults in Q3, LockBit 3.0 ransomware continued its reign as essentially the most distinguished variant of 2022, based on Intel 471. This new variant affected 41 international locations, with the US as the principle goal, adopted by France, Italy and Taiwan. and Canada. The sectors most affected by LockBit had been skilled providers and consulting and manufacturing, industrial and shopper merchandise, and actual property.

First introduced in Q2 2022, the LockBit 3.0 variant reportedly included an up to date information leak weblog, a bug bounty program, and new options within the ransomware itself. The bug bounty idea was a primary for ransomware teams, with LockBit providing as much as $1 million to anybody who found vulnerabilities within the gang’s malware, its victim-shaming websites, its Tor community, and its messaging service. , reported Intel 471.

How does LockBit perform its ransomware assaults?

Not like different ransomware teams, LockBit prefers low-profile assaults and tries to keep away from making headlines, Crompton mentioned. The gang is at all times evolving and adapting their TTPs and software program. LockBit additionally runs a proprietary data stealer known as StealBit. As a substitute of appearing like a typical information stealer that obtains information from browsers, StealBit is a file grabber that quickly clones information from the sufferer’s community to the infrastructure managed by LockBit in a brief time frame.

“There are quite a few explanation why these ransomware teams are harmful in their very own proper,” Crompton instructed TechRepublic. “Usually talking, these teams have good malware with good infrastructure, skilled buying and selling groups, and customized instruments that make ransomware assaults simpler, which in flip attracts extra associates to their teams.”

How can organizations shield themselves from ransomware assaults carried out by these teams?

Crompton shares the next suggestions:

  • Ensure multi-factor authentication is in place.
  • Undertake a robust password coverage that stops the reuse of previous or related passwords.

In case your group wants steerage on organising a password administration technique, TechRepublic Premium has a coverage with particulars on greatest practices and extra.

  • Monitor insider threats and any kind of compromised entry to your individual group and third events.
  • Carry out frequent safety audits.
  • Regulate all privileged accounts to guard towards compromise.
  • Conduct phishing consciousness coaching for all staff.
  • Do not prioritize productiveness over safety, as this makes your group extra weak to ransomware assaults, making a a lot worse situation than decrease productiveness.

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The Most Dangerous Ransomware Groups of 2022