California IT service provider pays ransom to escape Sodinokibi’s stronghold

A provider of
IT management and cloud hosting services in California has been forced to pay
cybercrooks ransom to free its systems from Sodinokibi’s stronghold. Attacks by
the Sodinokibi (aka rEvil) ransomware gang have been reported steadily across
the United States in recent weeks.

Synoptek is a managed service provider that serves more than 1,100 customers across such industries as state and local governments, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media, retail and software. As reported by Brian Krebs, the company’s systems got infected with Sodinokibi ransomware on December 23, which ended up crippling operations for many of its customers. After compromising the company, the attackers used a remote management tool to install the ransomware on client systems. Because of the immense backlash from clients, Synoptek was forced to pay the attackers an undisclosed ransom in cryptocurrency to get rid of the Sodinokibi infection.

Ransomware operators
have started putting increased pressure on their victims to increase the
chances of a payout. One method employed by two prolific gangs (Sodinokibi and
Maze) is to copy the victim’s data before destroying it for them. With the data
in hand, the attackers threaten to publish it online in case the victim opts
not to pay. Another method is to focus on service providers which, which
results in customers venting on social media

Sodinokibi/rEvil operators have targeted several service providers across the United States in 2019, including PercSoft in August (Hackers breach IT vendor shared by 400 medical practices infecting every office with ransomware), and Complete Technology Solutions only a few weeks ago (Sodinokibi ransomware gang infects yet another IT provider serving dentists; 100+ offices hit).

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