Scattered Spider ransomware gang falls under government agency scrutiny | Malware

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As you may have read in our November Ransomware Review, Scattered Spider is a relatively new, albeit dangerous, ransomware gang who made headlines in September for attacking MGM Resorts and Caesar Entertainment. For small security teams, one of the most important findings about the group is their use of Living Of The Land (LOTL) techniques to avoid detection: Scattered Spider aka Octo Tempest employs everyday tools like PowerShell for reconnaissance and stealthily alters network settings to bypass security measures. They also exploit identity providers and modify security systems, blending their malicious activities with normal network operations.

In a joint cybersecurity advisory (CSA) on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided detailed information about the techniques leveraged by Scattered Spider. The advisory was issued in response to the recent activity by Scattered Spider against the commercial facilities sector and subsectors.

CISA and the FBI consider Scattered Spider to be experts that use multiple social engineering techniques, especially phishing, push bombing, and SIM swap attacks, to obtain credentials, install remote access tools, and bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Push bombing is a targeted MFA attack in which an attacker triggers multiple login attempts against the target’s single-sign-on (SSO) portal or publicly exposed corporate apps and services. The objective is that the target will grow tired of the notifications or make a mistake and allow the access.

SIM swapping, also known as SIM jacking, is the act of illegally taking over a target’s cell phone number. This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most common methods…

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