Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Network Security

12/11/2019
09:40 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

Snatch Is Both Novel & Evil

The Sophos Managed Threat Response team found out that, where the Snatch ransomware is concerned, things just more ugly.

The Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) team and SophosLabs researchers have been investigating an ongoing ransomware campaign from Russian threat actors called Snatch for about a year. It was highly targeted to high-payout victims, and seemed the work of financially oriented attackers.

But things just got uglier recently. Sophos realized that the malware had changed how it was doing things.\r\nThe victim’s PC was being rebooted into the Safe Mode of Windows before the encryption of data files was being done. It is both a novel and evil technique, as Andrew Brandt (the author of the Sophos blog report) said on Twitter.

Running the encryption in Safe Mode means that endpoint protection software that may be present will not operate. Even AV software is cut off. The victim’s defensive line is totally swamped by this method.

Fortunately Snatch is not multi-platform, even though it was coded in Go, Google’s multi-platform coding language. Sophos says that, “the malware we’ve observed isn’t capable of running on platforms other than Windows. Snatch can run on most common versions of Windows, from 7 through 10, in 32- and 64-bit versions.”

Sophos thinks that Snatch’s operators have adopted the “active automated attack” model, in which they seek to penetrate enterprise networks via automated brute-force attacks against vulnerable, exposed services, and then leverage that foothold to spread internally within the targeted organization’s network through human-directed action.

They got the needed partners by advertising on criminal message boards. Sophos found one of the “Snatch Team” posting a quite explicit ad saying they were “Looking for affiliate partners with access to RDP\VNC\TeamViewer\WebShell\SQL inj [SQL injection] in corporate networks, stores and other companies.”

Sophos found that in one case, attackers initially accessed the company’s internal network by brute-forcing the password to an administrator’s account on a Microsoft Azure server, and were able to log in to the server using Remote Desktop (RDP). They could then conduct surveillance of the network which lasted weeks.

The ransomware installs itself as a Windows service called SuperBackupMan, which has properties that prevent it from being stopped or paused by the user while it’s running. The malware then adds this key to the Windows registry so it will start up during a Safe Mode boot.

Using the BCDEDIT tool on Windows, it issues a command that sets up Windows in Safe Mode, and then immediately forces a reboot of the infected computer.

Sophos recommends that “organizations of any size refrain from exposing the Remote Desktop interface to the unprotected internet. Organizations that wish to permit remote access to machines should put them behind a VPN on their network.”

They also say that organizations should immediately implement multi-factor authentication for users with administrative privileges, to make it more difficult for attackers to brute force those account credentials.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.
CVE-2020-27774
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/statistic.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of a too large shift for 64-bit type `ssize_t`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but co...
CVE-2020-27775
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/quantum.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type unsigned char. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but c...