While high-profile ransomware attacks on major organizations have captured headlines, the ransomware ecosystem remains robust in targeting individuals and small businesses, causing significant damage.
Netenrich researchers delved into the Adhubllka ransomware, which since January 2020 has aimed at regular people and small enterprises, demanding ransoms from $800 to $1,600. Ransomware gangs often opt for these smaller targets due to their perceived lack of technical expertise in handling such incidents. This article highlights the growing trend of ransom demands under $1,700 from groups like Dharma, Phobos, and Stop/Djvu, underscoring the need for comprehensive cybersecurity measures.
Ransomware gangs are increasingly turning to leaked versions of established brands such as Conti or LockBit to develop their attacks. This strategy allows them to avoid the complexities of building ransomware from scratch while maintaining a level of obscurity to evade detection.
Chainalysis, in a recent report, emphasized this trend and noted that groups like Dharma and Phobos are ransomware-as-a-service strains targeting smaller entities. These groups, often deploying unsophisticated tactics, are still highly effective in targeting individuals and small businesses that may lack robust security measures.
The origins of the Adhubllka ransomware were explored by Netenrich, revealing the intricate web of ransomware strains that descended from it. Researchers discovered connections to CryptoLocker, a ransomware variant dating back to 2016. The ransom notes used by these strains exhibited striking similarities, often leading victims to similar communication interfaces with hackers. The report suggests that despite potential renaming or rebranding, researchers can trace cases back to the “ADHUBLLKA family” by analyzing communication patterns.
As ransomware gangs continue to adopt tactics from each other, identification becomes more challenging, underlining the importance of staying ahead in the ongoing battle against evolving cyber threats.