Malware researchers from Recorded Future and MalwareHunterTeam discovered ALPHV (aka BlackCat), the first professional ransomware strain that was written in the Rust programming language
In the past, other two ransomware were written in Rust for research purposes, one of them was published on GitHub in 2020, the second one is a now-defunct strain named BadBeeTeam.
Unlike other malware, ALPHV (BlackCat) is the first Rust ransomware that was used in attacks in the wild by a cybercrime organization. BlackCat can target Windows, Linux, and VMWare ESXi systems, but at this time the number of victims is limited.
The popular malware researcher Michael Gillespie said that the BlackCat ransomware is “very sophisticated.”
Recorded Future experts speculate that the author of the BlackCat ransomware, known as ALPHV, was previously involved with the REvil ransomware operations.
ALPHV has been advertising the BlackCat Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) on the cybercrime forums XSS and Exploit since early December. Like other ransomware groups, the gang also implements a double-extortion model, threatening to leak the stolen data if the victims don’t pay.
ALPHV is attempting to recruit affiliates for its operations, offering them between 80% and 90% of the final ransom, depending on its value. The BlackCat operations only hit a small number of victims at this time in the USA, Australia, and India.
Ransom demands range from a few hundreds of thousands up to $3M worth of Bitcoin or Monero.
Experts pointed out that the ransomware gang operates multiple leak sites, each of them hosting the data of a couple of victims. This suggests that each affiliate operates its own leak site.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ransomware)