Conti ransomware gang backs Russia, threatens US

Nancy J. Delong

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The Conti ransomware gang mentioned it will use “retaliatory measures” in opposition to the United States should Russian crucial infrastructure be attacked by “Western warmongers,” in accordance to a submit on its leak web page.

Conti, 1st detected in 2020, is a prolific ransomware gang observed in a number of high-profile assaults, which includes knowledge backup vendor ExaGrid very last calendar year. Notably, a string of attacks in early 2020 led to a stability notify from the FBI.

Conti at first pledged its assistance for Russia previous week in two statements launched on the group’s data leak internet site. In the very first, posted Feb. 25, Conti “officially” announced “entire help of the Russian government” shortly after the country invaded neighboring Ukraine. The gang threatened to use “all probable resources” to attack the critical infrastructure of any enemy who organizes “a cyberattack or any war things to do.”

This put up was changed with a for a longer period one particular Sunday, which notably showcased language that was extra defensive in nature it also did not explicitly pledge “entire guidance” like the 1st.

“As a reaction to Western warmongering and American threats to use cyber warfare against the citizens of Russian Federation,” it go through, “the Conti Crew is formally announcing that we will use our entire capacity to provide retaliatory measures in scenario the Western warmongers try to target crucial infrastructure in Russia or any Russian-speaking area of the world.

Screenshot from Conti ransomware gang's leak site
The Conti ransomware gang’s leak web page threatened retaliation ought to ‘Western warmongers’ assault Russia’s critical infrastructure.

“We do not ally with any governing administration and we condemn the ongoing war,” the new write-up ongoing. “Nonetheless, considering that the West is acknowledged to wage its wars mainly by focusing on civilians, we will use our means in buy to strike back if the effectively remaining and safety of peaceful citizens will be at stake thanks to American cyber aggression.”

On Sunday, tens of hundreds of alleged inside Jabber messages concerning Conti gang operators had been leaked by way of an nameless file dump. The leaker wrote in an connected concept that Conti “just shed all their s***” in advance of closing with “Glory to Ukraine!”

It is unclear who just leaked the logs. On the other hand, AdvIntel CEO Vitali Kremez explained to SearchSecurity that he thinks it was a protection researcher rather than a Conti member or affiliate.

“Someone who attained the server logs from the Jabber infrastructure is hugely unlikely to be an affiliate,” he reported.

The information include a vast amount of inside conversations in between gang operators, such as data on meant ransomware victims and the existence of a lawful section within Conti. Risk analysts from various businesses have weighed in on the leaks with a normal consensus that they arrived from Conti.

“The leaked chats look to be the actual offer,” Emsisoft menace analyst Brett Callow explained. “Having said that, how a lot of the information contained in them is precise is an fully distinct issue, and it will acquire time to function out.”

Alexander Culafi is a writer, journalist and podcaster dependent in Boston.

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