fbi seal

FBI Warns U.S. Companies About Recent Scourge of “Maze” Ransomware Attacks

The advisory warned businesses about cyber attacks featuring cryptocurrency sites and spam campaigns impersonating government agencies.

In a recent advisory to private companies across the U.S., the FBI warned businesses about a series of cyber attacks using “Maze” ransomware, which began hitting American organizations in November.

According to CyberScoop, which obtained a copy of the alert sent to businesses in late December, the FBI described a recent scourge of ransomware attacks in which the hacker, sometimes acting as a government agency, stole data from companies and encrypted it to further extort the business.

“From its initial observation, Maze used multiple methods for intrusion, including the creation of malicious look-a-like cryptocurrency sites and malspam campaigns impersonating government agencies and well-known security vendors,” the advisory reads, according to CyberScoop.

The advisory also cited a late November attack in which hackers using Maze threatened to release confidential and sensitive files from an American victim in a move to extort the company for ransom.

Hackers using Maze software were behind the ransomware attack that targeted the city government of Pensacola, Florida in December shortly after a shooter killed three sailors at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The actors behind the attack released 2GB of files that were allegedly stolen from the government in an effort to pressure officials to pay the ransom, according to BleepingComputer. Hackers have demanded a $1 million payment to release the data.

Brett Callow, an analyst at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, told StateScoop that the group is using the data as additional leverage to extort payment.

“Whether the city pays or doesn’t pay, the end result is the exactly same: their data is in the hands of cybercriminals,” Callow said. “Were the city to pay, it would simply have the criminals’ word that the data wouldn’t be released or that they wouldn’t attempt to extort money for a second time.”

Cybersecurity experts say that the Maze trend is an indication of attacks to come.

“We expect to see an increasing trend of threat actors stealing sensitive data from victim organizations before encrypting the data in the victim environments,” Charles Carmakal, senior vice president at Mandiant, told CyberScoop.

Carmakal added: “Organizations may feel more coerced to pay the threat actors because they may feel it’s the best option to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information."

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Security Today Launches 2023 Government Security Awards

    Security Today is proud to announce the launch of the 2023 Government Security Awards. The Govies honor outstanding government security products in a variety of categories. For this year’s awards program, participants can choose from 38 different categories to enter their product(s) into. Read Now

  • City Safe Partners Announces Scholarship Program for Dependents of Full-Time Employees

    • Guard Services
  • Back to the Basics

    Back to the Basics

    Security is a continuous evolution of practices and procedures. The developments in technology and advancements in threats make security difficult at times. Although security from one location may look different from another location, there is a common goal applied to security measures. The common goal is protection. Read Now

  • The Top Three Security Trends in 2023

    The Top Three Security Trends in 2023

    As security technology has become more widely used, the interest in new capabilities and increased security measures has increased. As we head into 2023, these three trends will shape the security landscape. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • Hanwha Techwin Wisenet XRN-6410DB4 / mXRN-3210B4

    Hanwha Techwin Wisenet XRN-6410DB4 / mXRN-3210B4

    Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, unveiled two new Wisenet X series NVRs that support the industry’s first video playback and recording of up to 8K super-high-resolution images. 3

  • LiftMaster Garage Door Opener

    LiftMaster Garage Door Opener

    LiftMaster Transforms the Garage Door Opener Into a Sleek Smart Home Device That Does More Than Open and Close the Garage Door 3

  • PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions

    PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions

    Altronix introduces the newest addition to its portfolio of PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions. 3