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Police Arrests Ransomware Affiliate Behind High-Profile Attacks

Romanian law enforcement arrested a 41-year-old Romanian national affiliated with a ransomware group. The individual is suspected of having compromised the network of a large Romanian IT company delivering services to clients in across several different sectors. The Romanian National Police were supported by the FBI and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre in the operation. This arrest falls in line with the current global law enforcement strategy to disrupt ransomware groups by arresting affiliates, knowing the core group of gangs are operating out of Russia with impunity from the Russian authorities.

Analyst Notes

Although law enforcement agencies have been successful recently in combating ransomware groups, organizations still need to protect themselves. Organizations should focus on defense, prevention, and detection measures to keep ransomware threats off their networks. Organizations should use the following preventative measures to protect themselves from an attack:
• Implement network segmentation.
• 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 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.