Hackers using the Sodinokibi ransomware published stolen
data to further extort their victims, marking a first for operations using this
Sodinokibi is usually identified in attacks against
critical infrastructures, but that’s not a limit of the software. It’s a choice
of the hackers who use it in various scenarios. It can be very quickly deployed
against companies as well, as recently shown in the U.S. and the U.K..
The most famous recent victims include Travelex,
a foreign exchange company in the United Kingdom, and Synoptek,
a California-based service provider. In both of these cases, Sodinokibi
operators claim to have stolen files as well, which is not uncommon.
What is uncommon, is the threat to release stolen data to
the public, to extort victims into paying the ransom for the decryption. Many
companies now have backups for the data, and cyber insurance on top, so the
impact of a ransomware attack is greatly diminished.
It looks like the Sodinokibi operators are now following
the example of the operators of another ransomware, Maze. According to a report
on Bleeping Computer, hackers published 337MB worth of data on a Russian forum,
presumably from a US-based company called Artech Information Systems.
Artech has yet to report a breach, but their official
website is not working. It’s unclear whether it has anything to do with a
Sodinokibi attack, but it’s a strong possibility.
Private and public organizations are adapting to existing
cyber threats, which in turn prompts hackers to find new attack vectors and new
ways to extort their victims. Publishing or selling stolen data is the next
evolution of ransomware.