What is LockBit Ransomware Attack?

LockBit ransomware is harmful malware meant to prevent users from accessing computer systems unless a ransom is paid. LockBit will automatically disseminate the infection over the network, look for valuable targets, and encrypt any accessible computer systems. Highly specific assaults against businesses and other organizations utilize this malware.

LockBit attackers have created a name for themselves by posing the following threats to businesses around the world −

  • Essential operations are interrupted, and they abruptly stop.

  • The hacker is engaging in extortion for personal benefit.

  • If the victim does not cooperate, blackmail tactics include data theft and unauthorized dissemination.

What is LockBit Ransomware?

A fresh ransomware attack in a long line of cyber-extortion strikes is called LockBit. It was sometimes referred to be "ABCD" ransomware, but it has now developed into a distinct danger in the context of these extortion tools. Because it bases its ransom demands on a monetary payment in exchange for decryption, LockBit is a type of ransomware known as a "crypto-virus." Instead of individuals, it primarily focuses on businesses and governmental institutions.

LockBit attacks first started in September 2019, when it was known as the ".abcd virus." The nickname referred to the name of the file extension that was used to encrypt a victim's files. Organizations in the United States, China, India, Indonesia, and Ukraine are examples of notable previous targets. In addition, there have been attacks in a number of European nations, including France, the UK, and Germany.

Targets that will feel hindered by the disruption and have the money to do so will be considered viable. As a result, this may lead to widespread attacks against major businesses, including healthcare and financial institutions. It also appears to purposefully avoid attacking systems local to Russia or any other Commonwealth of Independent States nations throughout its automated vetting procedure. This is probably being done to prevent prosecution in such places.

LockBit performs the role of ransomware as a service (RaaS). When using tailored for-hire attacks, willing parties put down a deposit and earn money through an affiliate program. The LockBit development team receives up to ¾ of the ransom money, and the attacking affiliates also receive a portion of it.

How Does the LockBit Ransomware Operate?

Many authorities believe that the "LockerGoga & MegaCortex" malware family includes the LockBit ransomware. Simply put, this indicates that it behaves similarly to certain wellestablished types of targeted ransomware.

Here is a brief description of what we know about these attacks −

  • Instead of requiring manual direction, self-spreading within an organization

  • Targeted rather than sent randomly like spam malware.

  • Using comparable methods to disseminate, such as Server Message Block and Windows Powershell (SMB).

  • Most important is its capacity for self-propagation, or the ability to grow on its own. Premade automated methods guide LockBit's programming. This distinguishes it from many other ransomware assaults that depend on manually residing in the network for the sake of recon and surveillance, often for weeks at a time.

A script can be used to locate other accessible hosts, connect them to infected ones, and spread the infection after the attacker has physically infected one host. All of this is finished and repeated without any help from humans.

Additionally, it employs tools in ways that are typical of almost all Windows computer systems. Malicious behavior is hard to detect by endpoint security systems. Additionally, it disguises the executable encrypting file as the common to conceal it. Further tricking system defenses is the PNG picture file format.

Threats That LockBit Uses

The threat posed by LockBit, the most recent ransomware outbreak, is a serious issue. We can't rule out the likelihood that it will spread to several organizations and industries, especially in light of the current rise in remote working. Finding LockBit's variations can assist in determining exactly what you're up against.

  • Abcd extension in variant 1 − Files with the ".abcd" extension name are renamed in the initial version of LockBit. It also contains a "Restore-My-Files.txt" file that has been put into each folder containing a ransom letter with demands and guidelines for purported recoveries.

  • The LockBit addition in variant 2 − The current name of this ransomware was given to it after the second known version adopted the ".LockBit" file extension. Victims will discover that other characteristics of this version, despite minor backend changes, seem much the same.

  • 3rd variant of LockBit − The ransom instructions for the next version of LockBit do not mention downloading the Tor browser anymore. Instead, it uses a conventional internet connection to direct victims to a different website.

  • Ongoing modifications and improvements to LockBit − More sinister functions, such as removing administrative permission checkpoints, have recently been added to LockBit. The safety prompts that users might receive when an application tries to execute as an administrator are now disabled by LockBit.

Additionally, the virus is now configured to take copies of server data and contains extra lines of extortion in the ransom message. LockBit now threatens to reveal the victim's sensitive information to the public if the victim disobeys orders.

Decryption and Removal of LockBit

Endpoint devices need stringent protection measures across your entire organization due to the problems LockBit might cause. Having a complete endpoint security solution is the first step. If your company is already affected, simply getting rid of the LockBit ransomware won't restore access to your files. Since encryption requires a "key" to unlock, you will still need a tool to recover your system. If you already have pre-infection backup images, you could also be able to restore your systems by reimaging them.

Updated on: 05-Aug-2022


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