"As Iran becomes increasingly isolated and desperate for access to U.S. dollars, it is vital that virtual currency exchanges, peer-to-peer exchangers, and other providers of digital currency services harden their networks against these illicit schemes," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker. Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. The criminal activity harmed state agencies, city governments, hospitals, and countless innocent victims.". However, there has not been any slowdown in SamSam ransomware attacks. Treasury officials assert that over the last five years Khorashadizadeh and Ghorbaniyan have processed more than 7,000 transactions from over 40 exchangers, including some in the U.S. Smart, optimized, and connected, XGen™ powers Trend Micro’s suite of security solutions: Hybrid Cloud Security, User Protection, and Network Defense. If RDP is not required it should be disabled. HITECH News
He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA.
But those expenses did not include the demanded payoff. Copyright © 2020 Trend Micro Incorporated. Increasing SAMSAM attacks, using a variety of methods. SamSam ransomware incidents are usually much shorter in duration than other attacks due to the streamlined communication, settlement, and decryption delivery that the hacker group has invested in. 26% of all attacks have been on healthcare firms. The effects of the "SamSam" ransomware attack against Atlanta's government were much worse than it seemed at first glance. Several cybersecurity firms have reported a slowdown in ransomware attacks as threat actors switch to spreading cryptocurrency mining malware due to the higher potential for profits. The same day the New Jersey indictment was filed, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control placed two bitcoin addresses on its sanctions list for the first time in history. Now new figures have been released that confirm just how many victims have paid to recover their files and regain control of their computer systems. hide caption. A federal grand jury in Atlanta on Wednesday became the latest to indict two Iranian nationals on charges of creating and deploying the "SamSam" ransomware that attacked vital city computer systems earlier this year in an attempt to extort tens of thousands of dollars from the local government. It also states Savandi and Mansouri employed "Iran-based bitcoin exchangers" and that they "utilized overseas computer infrastructure to commit their attacks.". Image will appear the same size as you see above. In that case, the pair were charged with six counts of computer hacking and fraud by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trend Micro Deep Discovery Inspector detects and blocks ransomware on networks, while Trend Micro Deep Security™ stops ransomware from reaching enterprise servers–whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. Cybersecurity in 2020 will be viewed through many lenses — from differing attacker motivations and cybercriminal arsenal to technological developments and global threat intelligence — only so defenders can keep up with the broad range of threats.View the 2020 Security Predictions, Our 2020 Midyear Security Roundup delves into the pertinent challenges faced amid a pandemic, including Covid-19-related threats and targeted ransomware attacks.
Pak's office alleges it was Savandi and Mansouri who held 3,789 of the city's computers hostage, demanding a six bitcoin ransom payment — valued at about $51,000 at the time — in exchange for delivering an encryption key that would restore access to the data. Read about Atlanta's SamSam attack. Email and web gateway solutions such as Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery™ Email Inspector and InterScan™ Web Security prevent ransomware from ever reaching end users. ", The indictment alleges the men's hacking and extortion scheme is part of a "continuing trend of cyber criminal activity emanating from Iran." A recent analysis of the cryptocurrency wallets used by the threat actor behind the SamSam ransomware has shown there have been 223 ransom payments made by victims in the two and a half years since the release of the first SamSam ransomware variant. ", We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020, indict two Iranian nationals on charges of creating and deploying the "SamSam" ransomware, As Atlanta Seeks To Restore Services, Ransomware Attacks Are On The Rise, federal grand jury indictment in New Jersey, Feds Charge North Korean Cyber-Operative In Sony Hack, Ransomware Attack, Malware Attacks On Hospitals Put Patients At Risk, placed two bitcoin addresses on its sanctions list for the first time in history, Massive Ransomware Attack Hits Ukraine; Experts Say It's Spreading Globally. Press Ctrl+C to copy. In court documents, the Justice Department claims that Savandi and Mansouri have collected more than $6 million in ransom payments since they first launched SamSam in December 2015. The malicious payload is deployed on as many computers and servers as possible before the encryption routine is started. In addition, Trend Micro XGen™ security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques against a full range of threats for data centers, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. In the end, the attack caused the city "to incur substantial expenses" and inflicted "millions of dollars in losses," Pak's office said. 2. The payments almost total $6 million, more that six times the amount previously thought to have been earned by the threat actor behind the attacks. However, city officials now believe the final cost could be around $11 million higher, according to a “confidential and privileged” document obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Wednesday's charges against Savandi and Mansouri — both believed to reside in Iran — follow a federal grand jury indictment in New Jersey that was unsealed last week. SAMSAM has had a consistent presence in the threat landscape over the past two years, utilizing different methods to attack different industries. Their first alleged target was a business in Mercer County, N.J., but the duo quickly moved on to prey on software vulnerabilities within major public entities, including the cities of Atlanta and Newark, N.J., the Port of San Diego, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, among many others. “The defendants in this case developed and deployed the SamSam Ransomware in order to hold public and private entities hostage and then extort money from them,” said U.S. Attorney Carpenito. Even if Atlanta won’t pay, the hackers behind the SamSam ransomware are still running a tidy operation — collecting nearly $850,000 since their first attack in late 2015, according to analyses of the SamSam group’s bitcoin wallet. At the endpoint level, Trend Micro Smart Protection Suites deliver several capabilities like high-fidelity machine learning, behavior monitoring and application control, and vulnerability shielding that minimize the impact of this threat. Fortunately, Follet identified the issue and immediately took actions to address the vulnerability. The suspects have previously been charged in a similar scheme in New Jersey. Officials said the two made updates to the malware twice in 2017. New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito accused Savandi and Mansouri of "cravenly taking advantage of the fact that these victims depend on their computer networks to serve the public, the sick, and the injured without interruption. Sophos notes that the nature of SamSam ransomware attacks mean that simply backing up files is not enough to ensure a quick recovery. What are the HIPAA Breach Notification Requirements? The only way of ensuring a full recovery apart from paying the ransom is to rebuild affected machines.
Regulatory Changes "According to the indictment, the hackers infiltrated computer systems in 10 states and Canada and then demanded payment. This quiet, stealthy method of attack ensures a high rate of success compared to the noisy spam-delivered campaigns. 3. In the wake of the attack, the city government noted they will continue to post updates on its primary website, which remains online. Receive weekly HIPAA news directly via email, HIPAA News The SamSam ransomware attack on the City of Atlanta was initially expected to cost around $6 million to resolve: Substantially more than the $51,000 ransom demand that was issued. If RDP is enabled, rate limiting should be used to lock out users after a set number of failed attempts to block brute force attempts to gain access. A ransomware UI screenshot provided by an Atlanta city employee showed that attackers demanded a ransom of US$6,800 to unlock one computer, or $51,000 for all the decrypt keys needed to restore access to all the affected systems. When faced with extensive disruption and a massive clean up bill it is no surprise that many victims choose to pay the ransom. "In March 2018, a devastating ransomware attack interrupted City of Atlanta government functions and disrupted our community," U.S. Attorney Byung J.
A city spokesperson from Atlanta stated that its information management team is working with Microsoft to resolve the issue, and gave assurance that its technology professionals will be able to restore the affected applications soon. Press Ctrl+A to select all. It is also wise to change RDP connections from the standard TCP/3389 port and it is similarly advisable not to have RDP connections public-facing to the internet. The city payroll application remains unaffected as well. Add this infographic to your site:1. Users and enterprises can lower or eliminate the risk of ransomware infection with these best practices against ransomware. Like it? The city's information technology department sent emails to employees, instructing them to unplug their computers in the event they observe anything suspicious. The SamSam malware crippled several city online services for more than a week. Ransomware hit systems used by the city of Atlanta's local services, causing outages on customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information.
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