Cybersecurity researchers from Cyderes and Stairwell have uncovered a new method of cyber extortion that could be effective for attackers even if victims do not pay a ransom.
The new extortion tactics allow attackers to carry out data destruction during attacks. This is considered a dangerous development for ransomware victims because while it is often possible to retrieve encrypted files without paying ransom, the possibility that servers could be completely corrupted, if extortion demands are not met, could cause the victims to pay ransom.
The tactic of data destruction was discovered when researchers carried out an incident response to a ransomware attack by BlackCat. They linked the data destruction to Exmatter, a .NET exfiltration tool that was previously used as part of the BlackCat ransomware.
The researchers explained that the data destruction capabilities are still in development for several reasons, including the fact that there is no mechanism for removing files from the corruption queue. Also, the feature used by the Eraser class, called Erase, does not appear to be fully implemented and does not decompile correctly.
The sources for this piece include an article in ZDNet.