Apple M1 Chips face LockBit Ransomware threat in development

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In recent times, there has been a concerning trend of ransomware groups targeting companies and extracting sensitive information. However, the latest development takes this threat to a whole new level. It appears that a criminal gang has gone a step further and established its own research and development (R&D) team with the specific aim of creating a ransomware that can infect Apple M1 chips.

This revelation has come to light through a post by Kaspersky, a prominent cybersecurity company. According to their findings, the LockBit Ransomware group, known for their extensive spread of ransomware, has shifted their focus beyond Windows environments. Their attention has now turned to Apple’s ARM-based processors used in Macs and iPads, and they have begun developing a new architecture to target these devices.

Upon analyzing a sample of the ransomware developed by LockBit, Kaspersky discovered that the gang was utilizing a string encryption method called “One Byte XOR” to exploit the vulnerabilities of unsigned systems.

In March 2023, the FBI released a report stating that LockBit had assembled a team of experts for their R&D efforts, especially after parting ways with the Conti Ransomware gang. With new recruits and substantial funding, LockBit aims to expand its dark operations worldwide.

Despite their efforts to increase their success rate, LockBit has experienced a 30% decline in finances. Western law enforcement agencies have been actively tracking and neutralizing their activities, impeding their illicit gains.

Furthermore, the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions, once regarded as a refuge for criminals, has significantly diminished. Premium online tools can now trace fund transfers within 18-36 hours, enabling law enforcement to swiftly apprehend the individuals behind them.

According to information obtained by our Cybersecurity Insiders, it appears that the next target for these criminals will be the Internet of Things (IoT). This development could lead to serious consequences, particularly for developed nations like Britain and its neighboring regions, where IoT adoption is widespread.

The evolving tactics of ransomware groups and their relentless pursuit of new targets underscore the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and international collaboration to combat these criminal activities effectively.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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