McAfee ATR Threat Report: A Quick Primer on Cuba Ransomware

McAfee ATR Threat Report: A Quick Primer on Cuba Ransomware


Executive Summary 


Cuba ransomware is an older ransomware, that has recently undergone some development. The actors have incorporated the leaking of victim data to increase its impact and revenue, much like we have seen recently with other major ransomware campaigns. 


In our analysis, we observed that the attackers had access to the network before the infection and were able to collect specific information in order to orchestrate the attack and have the greatest impact. The attackers operate using a set of PowerShell scripts that enables them to move laterally. The ransom note mentions that the data was exfiltrated before it was encrypted. In similar attacks we have observed the use of a Cobalt Strike payload, although we have not found clear evidence of a relationship with Cuba ransomware. 


We observed Cuba ransomware targeting financial institutions, industry, technology and logistics organizations.  


The following picture shows an overview of the countries that have been impacted according to our telemetry.  


Coverage and Protection Advice 


Defenders should be on the lookout for traces and behaviours that correlate to open source pen test tools such as winPEAS, Lazagne, Bloodhound and Sharp Hound, or hacking frameworks like Cobalt Strike, Metasploit, Empire or Covenant, as well as abnormal behavior of non-malicious tools that have a dual use. These seemingly legitimate tools (e.g., ADfind, PSExec, PowerShell, etc.) can be used for things like enumeration and execution. Subsequently, be on the lookout for abnormal usage of Windows Management Instrumentation WMIC (T1047). We advise everyone to check out the following blogs on evidence indicators for a targeted ransomware attack (Part1Part2< ..