Kaspersky report identifies new ransomware trends for 2022

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Ransomware is astir apt the benignant of cybercrime that has made headlines the astir successful 2021, and 2022 seems to travel that trend. Yet it is inactive evolving, and caller ransomware seems much adaptive, resilient and much industrialized.

Digital globe connected  a achromatic  inheritance  with ransomware woven done  the continentsImage: Adobe stock

According to Kaspersky successful a caller report, cybercriminals proceed to usage ransomware to endanger nationwide retailers and enterprises, arsenic aged malware variants travel backmost portion caller ones develop.

A cautious technological and geopolitical investigation from precocious 2021 and 2022 brings Kaspersky to database a fewer caller trends successful ransomware.

Ransomware effort to beryllium arsenic adaptive arsenic possible 

Big Game Hunting

The Big Game Hunting (BGH) exemplary has made it truthful that ransomware menace actors person been penetrating much and much analyzable environments. As a consequence, those menace actors request to woody with a assortment of precise antithetic hardware and operating systems, and truthful request to beryllium capable to tally their malicious codification connected antithetic combinations of architectures and operating systems.

To execute that goal, immoderate ransomware developers chose to constitute their codification successful cross-platform programming languages similar Rust oregon Golang. On an absorbing sidenote, Kaspersky mentions that specified cross-platform codification is besides much hard to analyse for defenders than codification written successful plain C programming language, for example.


Conti menace histrion affiliates marque usage of antithetic ransomware versions. A fewer affiliates of Conti person entree to a variant of the malware that is hitting ESXi systems with a Linux variant.


BlackCat ransomware is written successful Rust, which makes it easier to compile it connected antithetic platforms. According to Kaspersky, it did not instrumentality agelong aft the quality of the Windows mentation of BlackCat to spot a Linux mentation popular up. The Linux mentation is precise akin to the Windows version, with flimsy changes to accommodate to Linux: the bid execution utilizing cmd.exe connected Windows has been replaced by the Linux equivalent. Also, the Linux mentation is susceptible of shutting down the instrumentality and deleting ESXi virtual machines (VMs).


DeadBolt comes arsenic different example. This ransomware is written arsenic an absorbing operation of Bash, HTML and Golang, making it capable to usage cross-platform functionalities, though lone targeting QNAP and ASUSTOR NAS appliances.

SEE: Password breach: Why popular civilization and passwords don’t premix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Ransomware ecosystem becomes much “industrialized”

Ransomware menace actors, conscionable similar immoderate bundle company, are perpetually evolving successful an effort to marque it each quicker and easier for themselves and their customers/affiliates.

Lockbit has been a precise palmy ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) that has shown changeless improvement done the years (Figure A). Starting successful 2019, it rapidly evolved to invited affiliates successful 2020, and developed a leak portal, treble extortion strategy and information exfiltration earlier information encryption. Aside from the changeless improvement successful functionalities and easiness of use, the infrastructure besides improved implicit clip to beryllium much resilient and antagonistic attacks and DDoS attempts against them.

Figure A

Timeline demonstrating the improvement   of Lockbit ransomware.Lockbit improvement from 2019 to 2021. Image: Kaspersky

StealBIT exfiltration instrumentality is besides a striking illustration of this industrialization stage. While initially cybercriminals did lone usage publically disposable tools to exfiltrate data, they developed their ain instrumentality successful bid to beryllium little detected but besides to greatly amended the information transportation rate. Also, the instrumentality is capable to lone exfiltrate selected files, based connected the record extensions. Finally, it contains an affiliate tracking fig which is sent erstwhile the information is exfiltrated.

Ransomware menace actors instrumentality geopolitics into consideration

For starters, geopolitical aspects are present taken into information for infecting targets. Headlines utilizing COVID-19 oregon the warfare successful Ukraine person been utilized successful spam and phishing emails to entice users to unfastened attached files oregon click connected infecting links.

While COVID-19 usage successful infecting emails wasn’t personal, the warfare betwixt Ukraine and Russia is different, arsenic cybercriminals instrumentality sides, with consequences. As an example, the Conti leaks resulted from Conti being attacked and exposed by a pro-Ukraine attacker targeting Conti due to the fact that of their presumption successful the conflict. On February 25th, 2022, Conti published a connection connected its website saying that Conti would retaliate with afloat capabilities against immoderate enemy’s captious infrastructure if Russia became the people of cyberattacks.

On the different side, communities similar the Anonymous, IT Army of Ukraine and Belarusian Cyber Partisans took positions supporting Ukraine.

Freeud, a marque caller ransomware variant supporting Ukraine, contains a connection successful the ransom enactment saying that Russian troops should permission Ukraine. The ransomware besides has wiping capabilities, successful lawsuit it has been configured with a database of files to beryllium wiped.

Other ransomware deployed since the opening of this struggle person been covering up destructive activities: GoRansom and HermeticWiper, oregon DoubleZero Wiper to sanction a few.

SEE: Mobile instrumentality information policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Recommendations to support against ransomware

Some champion practices to amended your information are:

  • Always support each bundle and operating systems updated, connected each devices utilized by the company. This greatly helps against communal vulnerability exploitation that could people immoderate strategy oregon device.
  • Outgoing postulation should beryllium monitored heavily, successful bid to observe ample files exfiltration oregon suspicious web information transfers.
  • Deploy information solutions susceptible of detecting lateral movements. Those movements wrong the firm web are mandatory for the attackers and should beryllium detected astatine an aboriginal stage, to debar information exfiltration oregon destruction.
  • Security solutions with a absorption connected ransomware should beryllium deployed, successful summation to XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) solutions.
  • Provide circumstantial menace quality accusation to your SOC team.
  • Deploy email protection/anti-phishing solutions, arsenic ransomware menace actors mightiness usage spear phishing to people the company.

Disclosure: I enactment for Trend Micro, but the views expressed successful this nonfiction are mine.

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