Last Week in Ransomware: The “Oops, We Did It Again” Edition – 03.04.2024

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In the riveting soap opera that is ransomware news, last week served up some juicy plot twists, featuring the LockBit gang’s dramatic comeback performance and the FBI playing the role of the concerned parent, warning us that BlackCat/ALPHV has set its sights on the healthcare cookie jar…

The Unstoppable Comeback of LockBit Imagines a band breaking up and then announcing their reunion tour before the fans even had time to miss them. That’s LockBit for you. After law enforcement tried to shut down their show on February 19th, LockBit was like, “Nice try, folks!” and bounced back faster than you can say “Ransomware-as-a-Service.”

Bleeping Computer got the scoop, with LockBit admitting they tripped over their own shoelaces (“personal negligence and irresponsibility”), leading to “Operation Cronos.” Despite the authorities nabbing over 1,000 decryption keys, LockBit was all, “The joke’s on you! Our treasure chest’s got nearly 20,000 of these bad boys.”

Jon Miller, CEO of the “We Fight Ransomware” club Halcyon, pointed out the sad truth: catching these cybercriminals is like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. With their knack for dodging security and encrypting stuff faster than you can say “What’s my password again?”, LockBit’s basically the Houdini of the cybercrime world.

Their greatest hits? Hacking into the systems of small fries and big fish alike, from Boeing and SpaceX to Shakey’s Pizza. And now, they’re threatening to spill the tea on the Trump case docs from Fulton County Court unless their ransom demands are met. Talk about drama!

LockBit Sings: “Give Us Money or Trump’s Secrets Get It!” LockBit’s stepping up their game, threatening to air out the Trump case laundry unless they get paid. It’s like watching a villain in a movie who knows they’ve got the ace card. This move not only shakes down for cash but also waves a red flag at national security and the world’s geopolitical balance. Governments, take note: it’s time to up your game against these ransomware supervillains.

FBI Plays Whack-a-Mole with BlackCat/ALPHV Meanwhile, the FBI, playing the role of the ever-vigilant guardian, is waving red flags about BlackCat/ALPHV targeting the healthcare sandbox. After a brief time-out in December, these guys are back in action, poking holes in the defenses of healthcare bigwigs like Prudential Financial and UnitedHealth Group’s Optum.

The stakes? Higher than just money. We’re talking disrupted patient care and, even scarier, higher mortality rates. Imagine going in for surgery and finding out the computer’s got a virus. Not exactly comforting.

Change Healthcare Faces the Music The spotlight is on Change Healthcare, the latest victim of this cyber onslaught, proving once again that healthcare’s cyber defenses might need a bit more beefing up. The attack’s aftermath has been a slow dance of recovery, underscoring the fragile state of our healthcare infrastructure in the face of these digital threats.

As we wrap up this week’s episode of “As the Ransomware Turns,” it’s clear that LockBit and BlackCat/ALPHV are not just tech problems but full-blown national security threats. It’s time for a strategy refresh — one that goes beyond playing whack-a-mole with cybercriminals and addresses the bigger picture. Stay tuned for next week’s drama!


About the Author:

Online Security Expert Todd Laff reviews online hacks and security issues and how to protect yourself and secure your network.

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