Cybersecurity firm Dragos has been targeted by a threat actor whose goal was seemingly to deploy ransomware and extort the company.
The attempt failed, and Dragos shared the details of what had happened, in hopes to help other companies who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
In a blog post, Dragos reported that a threat actor managed to gain access to the company’s systems through a previously compromised email account belonging to a newly employed member of staff. They used the access to impersonate the new employee and access resources “typically used” by new sales employees, in SharePoint and the Dragos contact management system. They also managed to obtain a report with IP addresses associated with a customer, prompting Dragos to reach out to that customer immediately.
The company believes they had spotted the attacker on time and prevented them from doing any major damage.
“We are confident that our layered security controls prevented the threat actor from accomplishing what we believe to be their primary objective of launching ransomware,” the blog reads. “They were also prevented from accomplishing lateral movement, escalating privileges, establishing persistent access, or making any changes to the infrastructure.”
However, that did not stop the attackers from trying to extort the company for the data they had taken. Soon after, they reached out to company executives via WhatsApp, threatening to release sensitive data to the dark web. “WE HAVE EVERYTHING.”, one of the messages reads.
As the company did not flinch, the attackers then resorted to mentioning family members, as well as reaching out to other Dragos contacts to try and trigger a response.
“While the external incident response firm and Dragos analysts feel the event is contained, this is an ongoing investigation,” the blog further states. “The data that was lost and likely to be made public because we chose not to pay the extortion is regrettable. However, it is our hope that highlighting the methods of the adversary will help others consider additional defenses against these approaches so that they do not become a victim to similar efforts.”
- These are the best endpoint protection tools right now
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.