Olympus US hack tied to sanctioned Russian ransomware group – TechCrunch


An “ongoing” cyberattack towards the Japanese expertise big Olympus was brought on by a Russian ransomware group sanctioned by the U.S. authorities, in line with two folks with data of the incident.

A brand new malware variant referred to as Macaw was utilized in the assault that started on October 10, which encrypted Olympus’ programs within the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Macaw is a variant of the WastedLocker malware, each of which have been created by Evil Corp., a Russia-based crime group that was topic to U.S. Treasury sanctions in 2019.

It’s the second ransomware assault to hit the corporate in as many months, after its networks in Europe, the Center East and Africa have been knocked offline by the BlackMatter ransomware group in September. (BlackMatter and Evil Corp. aren’t recognized to be linked.)

“Olympus was hit by BlackMatter final month after which hit by Macaw every week or so in the past,” Allan Liska, a senior menace analyst at safety agency Recorded Future, informed TechCrunch. Liska mentioned that the Macaw malware leaves behind a ransom be aware on hacked computer systems that claims to have stolen knowledge from its victims.

Olympus mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday that the corporate was investigating the “chance of knowledge exfiltration,” a standard approach by ransomware teams referred to as “double extortion,” the place the hackers steal recordsdata earlier than encrypting the sufferer’s community and threaten to publish the recordsdata on-line if the ransom to decrypt the recordsdata just isn’t paid.

When reached on Wednesday, Olympus spokesperson Jennifer Bannan declined to reply our questions or say if the corporate paid the ransom.

“In the most effective pursuits of the safety of our system, our clients and their sufferers, we won’t touch upon legal actors and their actions, if any. We’re dedicated to offering acceptable notifications to impacted stakeholders,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.

Treasury sanctions make it harder for firms primarily based or working in the USA to pay a ransom to get their recordsdata again, since U.S. nationals are “usually prohibited” from transacting with sanctioned entities. Evil Corp. has renamed and modified its malware a number of instances to avoid U.S. sanctions.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the Macaw malware was additionally used to trigger widespread disruption final week at Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns or operates 185 tv stations throughout greater than 80 markets. Sinclair mentioned in an announcement on Monday that whereas some knowledge was stolen from Sinclair’s community, it wasn’t clear precisely what info was taken.

Evil Corp. additionally launched assaults at Garmin, which brought about a virtually week-long outage after a ransomware assault in 2020, in addition to insurance coverage big CNA.


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