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Wednesday, 05 August 2020 06:33

Life's no good: Hackers use Windows Maze ransomware to steal LG Electronics data Featured

Life's no good: Hackers use Windows Maze ransomware to steal LG Electronics data Pixabay

More than a month after cyber criminals claimed to have attacked the website of South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics using the Windows Maze ransomware, data stolen from the site has been published on the dark Web site of the ransomware group.

At the time when the attackers made the claim, Emsisoft's ransomware threat researcher Brett Callow questioned whether they really had done what they claimed, adding that the group was a "bunch of lowlifes", adding that lowlifes were not known for their honesty.

At the time they made the claim, the attackers published screenshots (below) of files that appeared to be from a Python code repository.

lg python

A second screenshot (below) showed an archive file with a .KDZ extension, which is known to be a file extension for official stock firmware from LG.

File names indicated that the .KDZ files were from firmware for AT&T devices that were built for the American market. AT&T lists 41 LG devices on its website, all of which are available on the telco's subscriber plans.

kdz lg

iTWire has contacted LG Electronics for comment.

lg ransomware dump

A screenshot showing part of the data dumped on the dark Web by the attackers who hit LG Electronics.

Contacted for his take, Callow said: "Interestingly, the criminals claim to have elected not to encrypt LG's data and only exfiltrate proprietary information during the attack. Whether this is true or whether the attack was detected and blocked prior to the ransomware being deployed is impossible to say.

"Whatever the case, it nonetheless indicates that 'ransomware attack' is now an overly simplistic term for incidents which have evolved to include intrusion and exfiltration, but not necessarily encryption."

Callow pointed out that in an email in June, the Maze gang told the American technology news website ZDNet that they did not execute their ransomware on LG's network, but merely stole the company's proprietary data and chose to skip to the second phase of their extortion attempts.

He said the gang had told the site, via a contact form on their leak site, "We decided not to execute [the] Maze [ransomware] because their clients are socially significant and we do not want to create disruption for their operations, so we only have exfiltrated the data."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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