Black Basta Ransomware: In-Depth Analysis, Detection, and Mitigation

Summary of Black Basta Ransomware

Black Basta first emerged in early 2022.  The ransomware family is an evolution of the Hermes/Ryuk/Conti families.  Black Basta was heavily advertised in underground cybercrime markets.  Black Basta practices double extortion – demanding payment for a decryptor, as well as for the non-release of stolen data.  There are Windows and LInux variants of Black Basta ransomware.

What Does Black Basta Ransomware Target?

Black Basta ransomware has been known to target a wide range of industries, including healthcare, government, financial services, education, and media.  Targeting within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) is discouraged.

How Does Black Basta Ransomware Spread?

Black Basta is deployed in multiple ways: via Cobalt Strike or a similar framework, and through email phishing.  BlackBasta is often delivered as a secondary infection.  For example, following a Qakbot infection.

Black Basta Ransomware Technical Details

Black Basta variants have been observed on Windows and Linux systems. Black Basta infections began with Qakbot delivered by email and macro-based MS Office documents, ISO+LNK droppers and .docx documents exploiting the MSDTC remote code execution vulnerability, CVE-2022-30190.

Manual reconnaissance is performed when Black Basta operators connect to victims through the Qakbot backdoor.

Reconnaissance utilities used by the operator are staged in a directory with deceptive names such as “Intel” or “Dell”, created in the root drive C:\.

For network scanning, Black Basta uses the SoftPerfect network scanner, netscan.exe. In addition, the WMI service is leveraged to enumerate installed security solutions. The ransomware will take steps to disable commonly used endpoint security products prior to initiating the encryption process.

Beyond the reconnaissance stage, Black Basta attempts local and domain level privilege escalation through a variety of exploits. We have seen the use of ZeroLogon (CVE-2020-1472), NoPac (CVE-2021-42287, CVE-2021-42278) and PrintNightmare (CVE-2021-34527).

Black Basta also employs an array of custom scripts and tools within their campaigns.

How to Detect Black Basta Ransomware

  • The SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform can identify and stop any malicious activities and items related to Black Basta.

In case you do not have SentinelOne deployed, detecting this ransomware requires a combination of technical and operational measures, which are designed to identify and flag suspicious activity on the network. This allows the organization to take appropriate action, and to prevent or mitigate the impact of the ransomware attack.

  1. Use antimalware software, or other security tools, which are capable of detecting and blocking known ransomware variants. These tools may use signatures, heuristics, or machine learning algorithms, to identify and block suspicious files or activities.
  2. Monitor network traffic, and look for indicators of compromise, such as unusual network traffic patterns, or communication with known command-and-control servers.
  3. Conduct regular security audits and assessments, to identify vulnerabilities in the network and the system, and to ensure that all security controls are in place and functioning properly.
  4. Educate and train employees on cybersecurity best practices, including how to identify and report suspicious emails, or other threats.
  5. Implement a robust backup and recovery plan, to ensure that the organization has a copy of its data, and can restore it in case of an attack.

How to Mitigate Black Basta Ransomware

The SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform detects and prevents malicious behaviors and artifacts associated with Black Basta.

  • The SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform can return systems to their original state using either the Repair or Rollback feature.

In case you do not have SentinelOne deployed, there are several steps that organizations can take to mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks:

  1. Educate employees: Employees should be educated on the risks of ransomware and on how to identify and avoid phishing emails, malicious attachments, and other threats. They should be encouraged to report suspicious emails or attachments and avoid opening them or clicking on links or buttons.
  2. Implement strong passwords: Organizations should implement strong, unique passwords for all user accounts and regularly update and rotate these passwords. Passwords should be at least eight characters long and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  3. Enable multi-factor authentication: Organizations should enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all user accounts to provide an additional layer of security. This can be done through the use of mobile apps, such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator, or the use of physical tokens or smart cards.
  4. Update and patch systems: Organizations should regularly update and patch their systems to fix any known vulnerabilities and to prevent attackers from exploiting them. This includes updating the operating system, applications, and firmware on all devices and disabling any unnecessary or unused services or protocols.

Implement backup and disaster recovery: Organizations should implement regular backup and disaster recovery (BDR) processes, to ensure that they can recover from ransomware attacks or other disasters. This includes creating regular backups of all data and systems and storing these backups in a secure, offsite location. The backups should be tested regularly to ensure they work and can be restored quickly and easily.

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