Ransomware Attack On Accenture

The global business consulting firm Accenture has confirmed that it has become a victim of a LockBit ransomware attack. According to the company, LockBit was used in attempt to freeze various corporate databases, although the firm says that it has recovered all its data using backups. 

The LockBit ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gang has published the name and logo of Accenture, with a mischievous message and an implied threat to the security of even some of the world’s biggest, most powerful companies.

Ransomware Background

Ransomware is a subset of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is demanded before the ransomed data is decrypted and access is returned to the victim. The motive for ransomware attacks is usually monetary, and unlike other types of attacks, the victim is usually notified that an exploit has occurred and is given instructions for how to recover from the attack. Payment is often demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin, so that the cyber criminal's identity is not known.

In May this year Colonial Pipeline paid almost $5 million to restore its systems after DarkSide used encryption to hold hostage the pipeline, which supplies nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel to 50 million people. 

The cybersecurity industry is stretched thin. Ransomware attacks are now so prolific that some companies simply cannot help every newly hacked victim get back online and a shortage of workers means no immediate help in sight. One of the biggest problems that organisations face in the battle against ransomware is a lack of expert guidance and attacks have become so prolific that organisations don’t have the internal expertise to address the risk and are unable to seek assistance from third parties.

The pace of attacks is seemingly relentless. President Biden has spoken about  the issue, stressing how much ransomware activity originates from Russia,where cyber criminals seem to work with impunity. In  of the most prolific ransomware gangs, REvil, carried out one of its boldest attacks on the Fourth of July weekend on Kaseya, a n IT services buisness which infected the customer supply chain. Experts say the hack permitted REvil to infect  more than 1,500 corporations in the US and around the world. 

Types of Ransomware

There are three main types of ransomware.

Scareware:   Scareware includes rogue security software and tech support scams. You might receive a pop-up message claiming that malware was discovered and the only way to get rid of it is to pay up. If you do nothing, you’ll likely continue to be bombarded with pop-ups, but your files are essentially safe. A legitimate cyber security software program would not solicit customers in this way. If you don’t already have this company’s software on your computer, then they would not be monitoring you for ransomware infection. If you do have security software, you wouldn’t need to pay to have the infection removed, you’ve already paid for the software to do that very job.

Screen Lockers:   When lock-screen ransomware gets on your computer, it means you’re frozen out of your PC entirely. Upon starting up your computer, a full-size window will appear, often accompanied by an official-looking like police  or Department of Justice seal saying illegal activity has been detected on your computer and you must pay a fine. However, the police would not freeze you out of your computer or demand payment for illegal activity. If they suspected you of piracy, child pornography, or other cyber crimes, they would go through the appropriate legal channels.

Encrypting Ransomware:   The hacking gangs steal your files and encrypt them, demanding payment in order to decrypt and redeliver. The reason why this type of ransomware is so dangerous is because once cyber criminals get ahold of your files, no security software or system restore can return them to you. Unless you pay the ransom, for the most part, they’re gone. Even if you do pay up, there’s no guarantee the cyber criminals will give you those files back.

The Future Of Ransomware 

As ransomware technology continues to advance, the technological margin between attackers and public targets has the potential to grow even wider. Within these targeted public sectors, specifically healthcare, attacks may be more costly in the coming years than ever before.

Predictions also indicate a growing focus on small businesses that run outdated security software. As the number of IoT business devices grows, small businesses can no longer think that they are too small to be attacked. This  attack vector is growing faster than effective the available security measure and the risk is that  domestic devices will become progressively more likely targets, alongside business.

NBC:     IEEE:      Oodaloop:        War on the Rocks:     ITGovernance:    Malwarebytes:      Techtarget:

CRN:        Threatpost:   Infosecurity Magazine:     

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