First is the news related to new ransomware dubbed Cheers that is seen targeting mainly Vmware ESXi Servers. As virtualization software allows cyber crooks to spread malware to many devices, it has become a soft target to criminal gangs spreading Lockbit, Hive, and RansomEXX.
Technically, if a machine hosts a dozen virtual machines meant to process various applications, targeting such machines by hackers makes complete sense as they will get an assured pay for either hacking the database or stealing files and then threatening to leak/sell those files onto the internet.
Cheerscrypt, simply known as Cheers, is seen targeting Vmware Hypervisors and is indulging in double extortion threats to pay the demanded ransom.
The second is a news piece related to a US Senate report on Ransomware. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security has expressed the government’s helplessness in protecting US Infrastructure from sophisticated cyber threats.
Senate’s report titled “Use of Cryptocurrency in Ransomware Attacks, available data and National Security Concerns” expresses concerns about cryptocurrency payments, as they are making it harder for governments to issue restrictions and sanctions.
As companies are failing to report cyber attacks such as ransomware, the Biden-led government is finding it hard to save federal infrastructure from state-funded threats.
This has increased by 30% after the start of the Russian war with Ukraine and that’s really worrying.
The third is the news of one of the wealthiest counties in the United States that has been struck by a ransomware attack. Somerset County in New Jersey was targeted by a gang distributing file-encrypting malware and, as the entire communication network was down, they had to set up temporary Gmail Addresses for emergency communication.
Preliminary investigations revealed that hackers somehow got access to the municipal email server and several other services and blocked the communication system on a permanent note. The ransomware variant that stuck the servers is yet to be known.
As the recovery was tedious, the IT staff set up Google Mail addresses for the county staff to allow county residents to contact in an emergency.