Apple and Tesla Supply Chain Hit By Conti Ransomware

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Delta Electronics, a supply-chain electronics company for Apple, Tesla, HP, and Dell, have revealed that they were the victim of a Conti Ransomware attack.

Delta is the largest provider of switching power supplies and reported sales of over $9 billion last year.

The company shared a statement last week regarding the attackm, and claimed the Conti Ransomware infection only impacted non-critical systems, and that it didn’t affect its operations. The conti ransomware infection was detected by AdvIntel on January 18.

Delta is now working to restore systems taken offline during the conti ransomware attack, and says that it has enlisted the services of third-party security experts to help with the investigation and recovery process.

The company also stated that it notified government law enforcement.

While Delta’s statement did not say who was behind the attack, an undisclosed information security company found a Conti ransomware sample deployed on the company’s network, as CTWANT first reported.

Conti Ransomware

According to the negotiations between the Conti Ransomware gang and Delta, the hackers claim to have encrypted 1,500 servers and 12,000 computers out of roughly 65,000 devices on Delta’s network.

The Conti ransomware gang asked Delta to pay a $15 million ransom for a decryptor and stop leaking files stolen from its network. Also promised a discount if the company would pay quickly.

While Delta is still reportedly working with Trend and Microsoft’s security teams to investigate the incident and claims that its production has not been affected, its website is still down one week after the attack.

“The Conti ransomware group revealed a specific pattern part of the Delta attack leveraging Cobalt Strike with Atera for persistence as revealed by our platform adversarial visibility. Certainly, this attack is reminiscent of the REvil Quanta one affecting one of the Apple suppliers,” Vitali Kremez, CEO of AdvIntel, told reporters.

Conti Ransomware Analysis

REvil

Note: The Analysis of Conti Ransomware was carried out by researchers at Vipre Labs.

Conti ransomware encrypts the files of their victims and publishes the data on their website similar to what other strains do. This extortion behavior is visible on their ransom note saying “We’ve downloaded your data and are ready to publish it on our news website”.

When executed, it will start to encrypt files and change the file extension of the encrypted files to .ODMUA. Like other ransomware, it will leave a ransom note that has a filename “readme.txt”.

The Conti ransomware website has an instruction on how to upload the README.txt for the decryption and a contact button at the bottom left of the page. Once you click the contact button, a form will appear where you will provide your contact information and question as shown below.

Conti Ransomware
Conti Ransomware Website

Conti ransomware will perform a known malware technique called process hollowing. It is where the malware will create a process in a suspended state, unmaps or removes the PE image layout from a given process space using ZwUnmapViewofSection function, write it’s malicious code using WriteProcessMemory, set a new entry point using SetThreadContext, and resume the execution of the suspended process using the ResumeThread function.

Upon research, we found out that the use of -p argument is to encrypt a specific directory with a single thread and the -m argument is to encrypt the files with multiple threads. It means that Conti ransomware has a multi-threading capability. Multi-threading is where main ransomware creates child threads to speed up the encryption.

It will use a string “hsfjuukjzloqu28oajh727190” that was decrypted using the decryption of string routine mentioned above for creating a mutex using CreateMutexA function. Then check if there’s an already running mutex. This was commonly used by ransomware to avoid infecting the system more than once.

The Mutex Object

It will also delete all the shadow volume copies on the infected system to ensure that the victims won’t be able to recover their encrypted files.

After deleting the shadow copies, Conti ransomware will now start its file encryption by first creating the ransom note which will be first drop in C drive using “CreateFileW” and write the content of its ransom note using “WriteFile”.

As with other ransomware, it will utilize the functions “FindFirstFileW” and “FindNextFileW” to find the files they will encrypt. Conti ransomware has a list of files/file extension and directories which will be excluded for the infection.

When Conti finds the file to be encrypted, it will now generate keys that will be used to encrypt the files. It will used the handle returned by calling the function “CryptAcquireContext” that request a cryptographic context from the Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider, then the “CryptGenRandom” function to generate cryptographically random bytes, and “CryptEncrypt” function. It leverages AES 256 encryption for their infection.

Then it will open the target file using the “CreateFile” function and retrieve the size of the target file using “GetFileSize”. After this the malware will decrypt different file extensions and check if the file extension of the targeted file is in the list.

Conti ransomware will not just encrypt the files of the infected machine but also spreads and infects the other machine on the same network using SMB protocol.

Protection

Attacks like the Conti Ransomware campaign show that cyberattacks are increasing at an exponential rate, and both government and business leaders are underprepared to face the fallout of an attack. There are several tools internet users should use to increase their online protection. One of these tools is SaferNet.

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