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GandCrab creator PINCHY SPIDER and its affiliates update tactics to spread the ransomware

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  • PINCHY SPIDER, the creator of GandCrab, and its affiliates were observed targeting the ransomware at enterprise environments.
  • The group is also believed to be offering their share of profits to other entities spreading GandCrab.

GandCrab ransomware which made news last year has resurfaced again with new tactics and techniques. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has detailed the ransomware’s recent activity in its latest blog.

According to the firm, the creator PINCHY SPIDER and its affiliates were found using techniques mainly associated with penetration testing teams as well as other adversary groups.

The big picture

  • PINCHY SPIDER is now seen targeting enterprise environments with lateral movement techniques.
  • Enterprise components include the popular IT systems management software LANDesk, used by many companies.
  • Two affiliate threat groups labeled as ‘23’ and ‘110’ were detected by CrowdStrike in the ransomware campaign.
  • PINCHY SPIDER also accepted ransom payments on a per-host basis, instead of the regular one-time payments for decryption.
  • On the other hand, the group is also reportedly sharing profits from its campaigns with other groups or affiliates for spreading the ransomware.
  • In February, the group released GandCrab 5.2 which had major improvements over the previous versions.

“Big Game Hunting” tactics - CrowdStrike pointed out that the group’s new tactics may be part of a strategy to cripple large corporate networks.

“The change in deployment tactics observed in these recent incidents, coupled with PINCHY SPIDER’s advertising for individuals with skills in RDP/VNC and experience in corporate networking, suggest PINCHY SPIDER and their affiliates are expanding to adopt big game hunting tactics,” CrowdStrike researchers wrote in the blog.

The group was also seen aggressively advertising to find people with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Virtual Network Computing (VNC) skills to perpetrate large-scale ransomware attacks.

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