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2023 Expert insights News-EN Newsroom

MALASLOCKER, THE ROBIN HOOD OF THE RANSOMWARE GANGS

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MALASLOCKER, THE ROBIN HOOD OF THE RANSOMWARE GANGS

There is a new cybercriminal ransomware group in town: as reported by Bleeping Computer, the gang goes under the identifier of MalasLocker and targets small and medium companies worldwide.

The group seems specialized in the hacking of Zimbra servers to steal emails and encrypt files.

So far, everything fairly standard.

What sets this criminal group apart is their ransom demand: the request actually involves a donation to a nonprofit organization of the victim’s choice. 

It appears that the primary interest of this group is charity rather than personal gain.

A highly active group

According to reports, the gang’s criminal operations began at the end of March.

With Hackmanac, we have analyzed MalasLocker’s blog to better understand how many victims have been listed so far.

From our initial analysis we have found  169 victims worldwide that the group put under “Defaulters” category.

MalasLocker global victims list

The most concerning aspect is that the leaked data includes clear-text passwords, not only from Zimbra but also from the LDAP systems.

Italy among the affected countries

Among the victims, we have also found 41 Italian companies (24.26% of the total listed targets):

Banco Azzoaglio

azzoaglio.it

Aster Cucine

astercucine.it

KondorCS

kondorcs.com

Azzurra Group

azzurrabagni.com

Studio Negri e Associati

negriassociati.com

HostingPerTe

hostingperte.it

D&G impianti elettrici

degimpiantielettrici.it

Sallemi Carburanti

sallemicarburanti.it

BEI Srl

beisrl.it

Transitus Group

trw-italia.com

Mappy Italia

mappyitalia.com

Balbi Srl

balbi.it

Steelgroup

steelgroup.com

Pasquetti Sarti & Partners

pspartners.it

Studio Eco Perucca

studioecoperucca.it

Studio Rossetti e Partners

studiorossetti.net

Riboli srl

riboli.it

Studio Consulenza

studioconsulenza.com

3Punto6

3punto6.com

FEA srl

feasrl.eu

Grassi srl

grassionline.com

Vegliolux

veglio.com

AVM Software & Technology

avm-it.com

Specialinsert

specialinsert.it

PMP Meccanica

pmpmeccanica.com

ATE Elettronica

atesistemi.it

Onubo s.r.l.

onubo.com

Commerciale Ferramenta

commercialeferramenta.it

Winner Italia

winnercenter.it

Villa Grazioli

villa-grazioli.it

NTA srl

ntasrl.com

Confindustria Energia

confindustriaenergia.org

FinRe Consulting

finreconsulting.it

Next Generation Srl

nextgenerationsrl.it

Studio Papa

studiopapa.net

Hotel Smeraldo

smeraldoroma.com

AMET

amet.it

Livitek

livitek.com

Propac S.r.l.

propac.it

Anic S.p.A

amedeonappi.it

Anstel

anstel.it

The Italian victims belong to various sectors:

  • Manufacturing (12)
  • Professional / Scientific / Technical (11)
  • ICT (9)
  • Telco (1)
  • Hospitality (2)
  • Construction (2)
  • Energy (1)
  • Financial (1)
  • Wholesale / Retail (1)
  • Organizations (1)
Affected victims categories in Italy

In Italy, MalasLocker primarily targets the Manufacturing sector, which was already heavily impacted by cyber attacks last year (as highlighted in our Hackmanac Cyber Attacks Global Report 2023): 27% of the group’s attacks are directed at this category.

An additional 27% of attacks target the Professional / Scientific / Technical sector, while 22% affect ICT category.

A cunning threat

Zimbra is a widely used application, with over 220,000 customers in more than 140 countries.

Unfortunately, like all applications, Zimbra is not immune to vulnerabilities: during our analysis of cyber attacks, we classified several incidents resulting from Zimbra vulnerability exploits (9 in 2022 and already 2 in 2023), many of which were critical.

The fact that the primary targets of this group are small and medium enterprises does not improve the overall situation.

Often, SMEs are more exposed to cyber threats as their defense capabilities and dedicated technical personnel for Cyber Security are lower compared to those of large companies.

Therefore, the advice is to keep Zimbra systems up to date and ensure that the configuration is as hardened as possible.

Stay Cyber safe!

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CYBER SECURITY IN 2023: WHAT SHOULD WE IMPROVE?

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CYBER SECURITY IN 2023: WHAT SHOULD WE IMPROVE?

2022 was a complex year to say the least: between the still unresolved Covid-19 pandemic emergency and the implications of the European conflict, the repercussions in the cyber security world were considerable.
Once again this can demonstrate how much there is still to do in this sector .

What changes will therefore need to be made to Cyber Security in 2023?
Let’s see the main ones.

Do not compress investments because of the crisis

The difficult economic situation that has arisen impacted every business sector.
In this scenario, Cyber Security already greatly underestimated, risks losing important investments when it’s clear that the emergency of cyber attacks shows no sign of diminishing.
In fact, attackers are dramatically constant and aware of how convenient can be to hit organizations that are already stressed and busy managing other problems.
This is demonstrated by the impact on the healthcare sector during the pandemic.

The solution?
Evaluate investments better, optimizing budgets so that they will be effective in contrasting threats while remaining economically efficient.


Outsource security services

Outsourcing security services in some situations is not only convenient but also the most valid solution.
This is true, for example, in the case of security assessments, where it makes sense for an external element to carry out the verifications and provide indications on corrective actions.

And this is also true for freelancers and small and medium-sized enterprises that do not always have technical staff to devote to IT and Cyber Security.
In these cases, managed security is the only viable solution.

The costs of managed Cyber Security services can be demanding, but it’s a priority, especially for a small company or a freelance, to properly assess risks and costs in case of systems compromissions: these can be huge and devastating.


Adapt services and solutions to SMEs

SMBs are often thought to be less exposed to cyber threats, as if cybercriminals were only interested in large and well known victims.

If it’s true that large companies offer a greater attack surface, on the other hand cyber criminals are perfectly aware that small companies are less protected. In these cases, cyber attacks have more chances of going to successful or they will not be detected and appropriately blocked.

The complexity of the cyber scenario therefore makes it essential for everyone, including SMEs and freelancers, to adopt an effective strategy that includes technological and organizational solutions.

However, managed security service managers must get used to preparing flexible and scalable offers in order to be able to serve even companies with reduced budgets.


2023 promises to be a very interesting year, but hopefully less problematic than the previous one.

Happy New Year and Good Job!

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STATE OF CYBER ATTACKS IN 2023

The most relevant data about cyber attacks in 2023. The information includes most targeted industries, most used technique, monthly average of cyber attacks, ...

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