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One of the more common methods of delivering ransomware attacks is through a phishing email. An attachment the victim thinks they can trust is added to an email as a link. Once the victim clicks on that link, the malware in the file begins to download.
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The first documented occurrence of ransomware can be traced back to the AIDS Trojan horse virus in 1989. The AIDS Trojan was created by a Harvard-trained biologist named Joseph Popp, who distributed 20,000 infected floppy disks labeled "AIDS Information -- Introductory Diskette" to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome researchers at the World Health Organization's international AIDS conference. Attendees who decided to insert the diskette encountered a virus that would lock the user's files on the computer's drive, making their personal computer (PC) unusable. To unlock their files, users were forced to send $189 to a post office box that PC Cyborg Corp. owned. Eventually, users were able to bypass the virus and decrypt their files because the virus used easily solvable symmetric cryptography tools.
As indicated by CERT-UA analysis, LoadEdge backdoor used in this campaign supports functionalities such as file execution, upload, download and deletion, obtaining system information, and interactive reverse shell over TCP port 1337. Communication with the C&C server uses HTTP protocol and JSON formatted data, and persistence is provided by the HTA file creating an entry under the Run registry key.
Cobalt Strike is a commercial penetration testing tool that allows an attacker to deploy a backdoor agent named 'Beacon' on the target machine. Although primarily designed for red teams, it is actively used by a wide range of threat actors from ransomware operators to APT groups for downloading and executing malicious payloads. The Beacon implant is file-less, in the sense that it consists of stage-less or multi-stage shellcode that is loaded either by exploiting a vulnerability or executing a shellcode loader. Communication with the C&C server is supported over several protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, DNS, SMB, named pipes as well as forward and reverse TCP with a wide range of modifications. Connections also can be established by chaining Beacons. Once an attacker gains access to a single system inside the compromised network, it can then be used to pivot internally into other systems. 041b061a72