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Friday, 19 June 2020 10:29

Ransomware expert offers word of caution as Lion's misery continues

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Ransomware expert offers word of caution as Lion's misery continues Pixabay

A Windows ransomware expert has offered a word of caution to companies that have been hit, pointing out that such groups often created backdoors when they staged an attack.

"Unless remediated, [these backdoors] provide them with access to the target network after the initial encryption event," Brett Callow, a threat analyst with New Zealand-headquartered security shop Emsisoft, told iTWire.

His warning came in the wake of what Nine Entertainment's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper claimed was a second attack on Lion, a major beverage manufacturer that operates across Australia and New Zealand, by a group using the REVil ransomware.

Callow, however, said what was being seen as a second attack could well be the continuation of the first attack, which Lion announced on 9 June.

"In another recent case, REvil continued to have post-attack access to a company's network and was able to monitor its response to the incident, including being able to access emailed transcripts of telephone conversations," he pointed out.

"The data that was obtained during this continued period of access was subsequently posted online, along with an insinuation that the company was committing insurance fraud."

Callow advised companies to rebuild their networks and infrastructure after a ransomware incident rather than simply decrypting their data or restoring it from backups.

"This is the only way to eliminate the possibility of a second attack," he added.

As iTWire reported on Thursday, the group that attacked the company's website has posted screenshots of the files that it stole during the attack. These include financial statements, personnel details and details of the company's IT set-up.

The SMH report was based on a leak from an individual who attended a staff meeting at the company on Thursday afternoon.

Lion was reported to have contracted professional services company Accenture to assist in recovery efforts.


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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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