At least 31 US Businesses targeted with WastedLocker Ransomware

Tens of organizations in the United States have been targeted with the recently discovered WastedLocker ransomware.

The malicious code was first documented by researchers from the NCC Group’s report and later Symantec published its own analysis.

Security experts from Symantec reported that at least 31 organizations in the United States have been targeted with the recently discovered WastedLocker ransomware.

According to the experts, the malware was developed by the Russian cybercrime crew known as Evil Corp, which was behind the Dridex Trojan, and multiple ransomware like Locky , Bart, Jaff, and BitPaymer.

WastedLocker ransomware was used in highly targeted attacks against selected targets, threat actors also used SocGholish fake update framework and a custom version of the Cobalt Strike loader to spread the malware.

“WastedLocker is a relatively new breed of targeted ransomware, documented just prior to our publication by NCC Group, while Symantec was performing outreach to affected networks. WastedLocker has been attributed to the notorious “Evil Corp” cyber crime outfit.” reads the analysis published by Symantec. “The attacks begin with a malicious JavaScript-based framework known as SocGholish, tracked to more than 150 compromised websites, which masquerades as a software update. “

Once compromised the target networks, the attackers were attempting to deploy the ransomware to demand a multimillion-dollar ransom.


The threat actors use SocGholish JavaScript-based framework for malware deployment, the experts were able to track it to over 150 compromised websites, where it was masqueraded as a software update.

Once the attackers gained access to the target’s network, they use the Cobalt Strike malware along with other living-off-the-land tools to steal credentials, escalate privileges, and make lateral movements to deploy the WastedLocker ransomware on the largest number as possible computers.

The attackers mainly targeted major corporations, including many household names. The list of victims includes large private organizations, along with 11 listed companies, eight of which are part of the Fortune 500.

Only one out of the 31 targeted organizations was not U.S. owned.

Most of the victims belong to the manufacturing industry, followed by IT and media and telecommunications sectors.

“Organizations in a diverse range of sectors were attacked. Manufacturing was the sector most affected, accounting for five targeted organizations. This was followed by Information Technology (four) and Media and Telecommunications (three).” concludes the report that also includes indicators of compromise (IoCs) for these attacks. “Had the attackers not been disrupted, successful attacks could have led to millions in damages, downtime, and a possible domino effect on supply chains.”

Pierluigi Paganini

July 1, 2020

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