Media Alert: Sophos Reports on the Realities of Ransomware

Sophos Press Release

Multi-Part Series Examines Escalating Detection Evasion Techniques and 5 Early Warning Signs Organizations are About to be Hit by Ransomware

Rapidly Changing Attacker Behaviors and Remote Working Signals Urgent Need to Future-Proof and Layer Security

OXFORD, U.K. – Aug. 4, 2020 – Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, today published a multi-part research series on the realities of ransomware, including an industry-first detailed look at new detection evasion techniques in WastedLocker ransomware attacks that leverage the Windows Cache Manager and memory-mapped I/O to encrypt files. A complementary article examines the evasion-centric arms race of ransomware, providing a months-long review of how cybercriminals have been escalating and markedly changing evasion techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) since Snatch ransomware in December 2019. 

The article series also breaks down the five early warning signs organizations are about to be attacked by ransomware and why ransomware attacks continue to occur.

“The reality is, ransomware is not going away. At Sophos, we’ve seen gangs like WastedLocker taking evasive tactics to a new level and now even finding ways to bypass behavioral anti-ransomware tools. This is the latest example of attackers getting their hands dirty, using new maneuvers to manually disable software as a precursor to a full blown ransomware attack. Other stealthy activities like exfiltrating data and disabling backups are also precursors. The longer attackers are in the network, the more damage they can inflict,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos. “This is why human intelligence and response are critical security components to detect and neutralize early indicators that an attack is underway. Organizations need to know about escalating trends and harden their perimeter by disabling remote access tools like RDP whenever possible to prevent crooks from gaining access to the network, a common denominator in many ransomware attacks that Sophos analyses.”

The combination of these changing attacker behaviors and remote and/or hybrid working environments due to the global COVID-19 pandemic is signaling an urgent need for organizations to prioritize IT security. Businesses also need to future-proof security implementations in anticipation of always-adapting adversaries, disintegrating boundaries and the expanded attack surface caused by COVID-19.

The Lineup of Sophos Research Includes

Immediate Advice for Defenders

  • Shut down internet-facing remote desktop protocol (RDP) to deny cybercriminals access to networks
  • If you need access to RDP, put it behind a VPN connection
  • Use layered security to prevent, protect and detect cyberattacks, including endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities and managed response teams who watch networks 24/7
  • Be aware of the five early indicators an attacker is present to stop ransomware attacks

Researchers from SophosLabs and Sophos Managed Threat Response contributed to the series. For additional information, please reference SophosLabs Uncut and Sophos News.

Acerca de Sophos

Sophos, líder mundial en ciberseguridad next-gen, protege a más de 400 000 empresas de todos los tamaños en más de 150 países de las ciberamenazas más avanzadas de la actualidad. Gracias al respaldo de SophosLabs, un equipo global de ciencia de datos e información sobre amenazas, las soluciones con IA y nativas en la nube de Sophos protegen endpoints (portátiles, servidores y dispositivos móviles) y redes contra las técnicas de ciberataque en evolución, como el ransomware, el malware, los exploits, la exfiltración de datos, las intrusiones de adversarios activos y el phishing, entre otras. Sophos Central, una plataforma de administración nativa en la nube, integra todo el catálogo de productos next-gen de Sophos, incluidos la solución para endpoints Intercept X y el firewall next-gen XG, en un único sistema de “Seguridad Sincronizada” accesible a través de una serie de API. Sophos ha estado impulsando una transición a la ciberseguridad next-gen, aprovechando las capacidades avanzadas de la nube, el Machine Learning, las API, la automatización y la respuesta administrada a las amenazas, entre otras, a fin de ofrecer una protección de nivel empresarial a empresas de todos los tamaños. Sophos vende sus productos y servicios exclusivamente a través de un canal global de más de 53 000 partners y proveedores de servicios administrados (MSP). Asimismo, Sophos pone a disposición de los usuarios particulares sus innovadoras tecnologías comerciales a través de Sophos Home. La empresa tiene su sede en Oxford, Reino Unido. Encontrará más información en es.sophos.com