Unpacking the rise of BlackCat ransomware: High victim count, high payouts, customized features

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Jan 27, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

Despite being a relative newcomer, the BlackCat ransomware family is moving up the list of the most prolific operators in the space, according to a report from Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 threat intelligence unit.

The group’s latest report, published Thursday and first reported by CyberScoop, found that as of December 2021, BlackCat has the seventh-most victims among all ransomware groups Unit 42 tracks, a remarkable feat considering that BlackCat initially garnered notice in mid-November 2021.

“This highlights a worrying trend that newcomers (or reformed groups) can attack many victims in a short space of time,” the researchers wrote.

BlackCat is a typical ransomware group in some ways, but has novel aspects that Unit 42 analyzed. Its ransomware is written in Rust, a computer coding language growing in popularity for its web application benefits, memory management and efficiency. Rust has been used in malware in the past, but BlackCat might be the first ransomware to use it in the wild, the researchers wrote, building off previous findings from early December 2021 by Recorded Future and MalwareHunterteam.

“Given its numerous native options, Rust is highly customizable, which facilitates the ability to pivot and

Read More: https://www.cyberscoop.com/black-cat-ransomware-growth-rust/