Conti Ransomware gang pays salaries and develops cryptocurrency

    All these days, we have seen and heard of companies recruiting employees and paying salaries to them. But here’s a news piece that gives details of a ransomware group that paid $6 million in salaries last year and even tried to develop its cryptocurrency.

    Please note that the above-stated details were divulged by a malware analysis company VX-Underground after analyzing a leaked chat from a Ukrainian researcher working on a Russian project.

    Conti Ransomware group is the hacking group in discussion and is reported to have been led by an individual code named ‘Stern’.

    VX-Underground update reveals that the Conti Ransomware gang has a dedicated team of employees and freelance hackers who operate in the organization that has training specialists, blockchain leads, analysts, and a customer support team of 10 members.

    The gang also has a bunch of developers, network penetration testers, admins, QA, engineer experts, OSINT, and those who keep a track of transactions and wallet funds.

    Interestingly, most of them work for bitcoins and are hired based on a 3-6 months time frame. Meaning, only a few members are permanent staff, while the rest are paid as per their services and availability for a specific project/s.

    Fund spending is also high and seems on par with the achieved profits.

    Information is out that Conti maintains about 255 crypto wallets and has bank accounts in 7 countries, mostly those based in Singapore, Panama, and some parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka.

    Adjacently, Conti was in a plan to develop a new altcoin based on Rust Programming language and was supposed to release it by June 2021. It was in a plan to run the digital coin for a few months on digital exchanges and then was thinking to demand the said currency from its victims, whenever its price was high against the international currency such as a US dollar.

    Such types of hidden hacking gangs often indulge in money laundering and money swindling acts and work for states pressed by sanctions, like Russia, after declaring war on its neighbor Ukraine.

     

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    Naveen Goud
    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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