Category Archives: Russia’s War on Ukraine

Stark Industries Solutions: An Iron Hammer in the Cloud

May 23, 2024

Two weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, a large, mysterious new Internet hosting firm called Stark Industries Solutions materialized and quickly became the epicenter of massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government and commercial targets in Ukraine and Europe. An investigation into Stark Industries reveals it is being used as a global proxy network that conceals the true source of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns against enemies of Russia.

U.S. Charges Russian Man as Boss of LockBit Ransomware Group

May 7, 2024

The United States joined the United Kingdom and Australia today in sanctioning 31-year-old Russian national Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev as the alleged leader of the infamous ransomware group LockBit. The U.S. Department of Justice also indicted Khoroshev as the gang’s leader “LockbitSupp,” and charged him with using Lockbit to attack more than 2,000 victims and extort at least $100 million in ransomware payments.

Fake Lawsuit Threat Exposes Privnote Phishing Sites

April 4, 2024

A cybercrook who has been setting up websites that mimic the self-destructing message service Privnote.com accidentally exposed the breadth of their operations recently when they threatened to sue a software company. The disclosure revealed a profitable network of phishing sites that behave and look like the real Privnote, except that any messages containing cryptocurrency addresses will be automatically altered to include a different payment address controlled by the scammers.

From Cybercrime Saul Goodman to the Russian GRU

February 7, 2024

In 2021, the exclusive Russian cybercrime forum Mazafaka was hacked. The leaked user database shows one of the forum’s founders was an attorney who advised Russia’s top hackers on the legal risks of their work, and what to do if they got caught. A review of this user’s hacker identities shows that during his time on the forums he served as an officer in the special forces of the GRU, the foreign military intelligence agency of the Russian Federation.

Costa Rica May Be Pawn in Conti Ransomware Group’s Bid to Rebrand, Evade Sanctions

May 31, 2022

Costa Rica’s national health service was hacked sometime earlier this morning by a Russian ransomware group known as Hive. The intrusion comes just weeks after Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves declared a state of emergency in response to a data ransom attack from a different Russian ransomware gang — Conti. Ransomware experts say there is good reason to believe the same cybercriminals are behind both attacks, and that Hive has been helping Conti rebrand and evade international sanctions targeting extortion payouts to cybercriminals operating in Russia.

Pro-Ukraine ‘Protestware’ Pushes Antiwar Ads, Geo-Targeted Malware

March 17, 2022

Researchers are tracking a number of open-source “protestware” projects on GitHub that have recently altered their code to display “Stand with Ukraine” messages for users, or basic facts about the carnage in Ukraine. The group also is tracking several code packages that were recently modified to erase files on computers that appear to be coming from Russian or Belarusian Internet addresses.

Report: Recent 10x Increase in Cyberattacks on Ukraine

March 11, 2022

As their cities suffered more intense bombardment by Russian military forces this week, Ukrainian Internet users came under renewed cyberattacks, with one Internet company providing service there saying they blocked ten times the normal number of phishing and malware attacks targeting Ukrainians.

Internet Backbone Giant Lumen Shuns .RU

March 8, 2022

Lumen Technologies, an American company that operates one of the largest Internet backbones and carries a significant percentage of the world’s Internet traffic, said today it will stop routing traffic for organizations based in Russia. Lumen’s decision comes just days after a similar exit by backbone provider Cogent, and amid a news media crackdown in Russia that has already left millions of Russians in the dark about what is really going on with their president’s war in Ukraine.

Conti Ransomware Group Diaries, Part IV: Cryptocrime

March 7, 2022

Three stories here last week pored over several years’ worth of internal chat records stolen from the Conti ransomware group, the most profitable ransomware gang in operation today. The candid messages revealed how Conti evaded law enforcement and intelligence agencies, what it was like on a typical day at the Conti office, and how Conti secured the digital weaponry used in their attacks. This final post on the Conti conversations explores different schemes that Conti pursued to invest in and steal cryptocurrencies.