Financially Motivated UNC3944 Threat Actor Shifts Focus to Ransomware Attacks

3 days ago 18

Sep 18, 2023THNThreat Intelligence / Ransomware

Ransomware Attacks

The financially motivated menace histrion known arsenic UNC3944 is pivoting to ransomware deployment arsenic portion of an enlargement to its monetization strategies, Mandiant has revealed.

"UNC3944 has demonstrated a stronger absorption connected stealing ample amounts of delicate information for extortion purposes and they look to recognize Western concern practices, perchance owed to the geographical creation of the group," the menace quality steadfast said.

"UNC3944 has besides consistently relied connected publically disposable tools and morganatic bundle successful operation with malware disposable for acquisition connected underground forums."

The group, besides known by the names 0ktapus, Scatter Swine, and Scattered Spider, has been progressive since aboriginal 2022, adopting phone-based societal engineering and SMS-based phishing to get employees' valid credentials utilizing bogus sign-in pages and infiltrate unfortunate organizations, mirroring tactics adopted by different radical called LAPSUS$.


While the radical primitively focused connected telecom and concern process outsourcing (BPO) companies, it has since expanded its targeting to see hospitality, retail, media and entertainment, and fiscal services, illustrative of the increasing threat.

A cardinal hallmark of the menace actors is that they are known to leverage a victim's credentials to impersonate the worker connected calls to the organization's work table successful an effort to get multi-factor authentication (MFA) codes and/or password resets.

It's worthy noting that Okta, earlier this month, warned customers of the aforesaid attacks, with the e-crime pack calling the victims' IT assistance desks to instrumentality enactment unit into resetting the MFA codes for employees with precocious privileges, allowing them to summation entree to those invaluable accounts.

In 1 instance, an worker is said to person installed the RECORDSTEALER malware via a fake bundle download, which subsequently facilitated credential theft. The rogue sign-in pages, designed utilizing phishing kits specified arsenic EIGHTBAIT and others, are susceptible of sending the captured credentials to an actor-controlled Telegram transmission and deploying AnyDesk.

The adversary has besides been observed utilizing a assortment of accusation stealers (e.g., Atomic, ULTRAKNOT oregon Meduza, and Vidar) abd credential theft tools (e.g., MicroBurst) to get the privileged entree indispensable to conscionable its goals and augment its operations.

Part of UNC3944's enactment includes the usage of commercialized residential proxy services to entree their victims to evade detection and morganatic distant entree software, arsenic good arsenic conducting extended directory and web reconnaissance to assistance escalate privileges and support persistence.


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Also noteworthy is its maltreatment of the unfortunate organization's unreality resources to big malicious utilities to disable firewall and information bundle and present them to different endpoints, underscoring the hacking group's evolving tradecraft.

The latest findings travel arsenic the radical has emerged arsenic an affiliate for the BlackCat (aka ALPHV oregon Noberus) ransomware crew, taking vantage of its new-found presumption to breach MGM Resorts and distribute the file-encrypting malware.

"The menace actors run with an highly precocious operational tempo, accessing captious systems and exfiltrating ample volumes of information implicit a people of a fewer days," Mandiant pointed out.

"When deploying ransomware, the menace actors look to specifically people business-critical virtual machines and different systems, apt successful an effort to maximize interaction to the victim."

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