The HelloKitty ransomware, also known as FiveHands, has become quite relevant, to the point of drawing the attention of CISA and the FBI.
The group was first spotted in December 2020 and remains active to this day. Their biggest publicised attack was on CD Projekt Red, an electronic game company known for “The Witcher” franchise.
HelloKitty uses the Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) tactic. Which allows ransomware to be bought and sold to anyone, thus making the group’s reach greater.
In most attacks systems are hacked from breaches caused by the vulnerability of the defence system known as SonicWall.
The FBI disclosed that besides encrypting the machine, the group puts pressure on the victim, giving them a deadline to make the payment. If the deadline expires, the information will be leaked or sold to third parties.
In December 2020 the featured victim was the Brazilian company Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CEMIG). The attack paralysed the system for 3 days and the company’s team chose not to negotiate with the group but to make a backup of all the information.
Thanks to this invasion, we had access to the encryption key that HelloKitty uses, the RSA-1024.
A very common encryption algorithm among ransomware. After data is encrypted the “.kitty” or “.crypted” extension is added to each infected file.
HelloKitty ransomware came from the same family as Scarab ransomware.
- Kitty Ransomware
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