An angry Conti affiliate leaked the ransomware gang’s training manual and information about one of the ransomware’s operators. Conti operates as a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), where a core team that manages the leak sites and malware typically earns 20-30%of the profits. Affiliates, responsible for encrypting devices and network breaches split the rest of the ransom payment. The individual that leaked the training materials claimed they only received $1,500 while the rest of the team made millions. Along with training materials the individual posted the IP addresses for Cobalt Strike C2 servers used by the ransomware gang. This leak shows a major weakness in how RaaS groups are organized. A single disgruntled affiliate can completely expose a group.
To protect against ransomware attacks, organizations should regularly back up data, air gap, and password protect backup copies offline. Ensure copies of critical data are not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the data resides. Implement network segmentation. Implement a recovery plan to maintain and retain multiple copies of sensitive or proprietary data and servers in a physically separate, segmented, secure location (i.e., hard drive, storage device, the cloud). Install updates/patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as practical after they are released. Implement monitoring of security events on employee workstations and servers, with a 24/7 Security Operations Center to detect threats and respond quickly. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where possible. Use strong passwords and regularly change passwords to network systems and accounts, implementing the shortest acceptable timeframe for password changes. Avoid reusing passwords for multiple accounts. Focus on cyber security awareness and training. Regularly provide users with training on information security principles and techniques as well as overall emerging cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.