The notorious FIN7 hacking group is shifting its focus to join the highly profitable ransomware community. FIN7 has been linked to cyberattacks and money-stealing campaigns dating back to 2015. The group has now created a fake cybersecurity company to conduct network attacks under the guise of pentesting to assist with their ransomware campaigns. The fake company was discovered by Gemini Advisory, who discovered the website for the fraudulent company, Bastion Secure Ltd., was comprised of stolen content from other websites. FIN7 was offering between $800 and $1,200 per month to recruit C++, PHP, and Python programmers, Windows system administrators, and reverse engineering specialists. It is believed the group was looking to hire IT specialists as cheap labor and to avoid using ransomware affiliates as other ransomware groups traditionally do.
Organizations should initiate proactive measures to ensure they are protected from ransomware. The US DHS website, stopransomware.gov, has links to resources that help organizations protect their systems from intrusions that lead to ransomware. 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 multifactor authentication 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.