Midas Ransomware: In-Depth Analysis, Detection, and Mitigation

Summary of Midas Ransomware

Midas ransomware operates as a RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-service) and emerged in October 2021.  The Midas ransomware  family is an evolution of the Haron RaaS. Midas targets corporate networks and engages in multi- extortion – demanding payment for decryption tools, as well as for the non-release of stolen data. Midas ransomware payloads are based on the Thanos builder.

What Does Midas Ransomware Target?

Midas ransomware targets a wide range of industries including healthcare, finance, education, retail, government, and manufacturing.

How Does Midas Ransomware Spread?

MIdas ransomware can be deployed in multiple ways, such as with Cobalt Strike or a similar framework, as well as through email phishing.

Midas Ransomware Technical Details

Midas is a technical and direct evolution of Haron ransomware. Midas and Haron are each based on the Thanos ransomware builder. Core features are the same, and existing Haron victims are able to login to the victim portal for Midas. Midas ransomware payloads are critten in C# and employ heavy obfuscation. Midas is capable of discovering and spreading laterally to adjacent and available hosts. The ransomware will also attempt to terminate a collection of processes that may inhibit the encryption process.  The threat uses taskkill.exe to terminate based on a hard-coded list of process names.  The ransomware specifically targets components of Raccine for removal as well.  Midas will also attempt to terminate a large list of services which may interfere with the encryption process.  This includes well-known security tools.  One feature, inherited from the Thanos builder, is the ability to locate process name strings and terminate associated processes.  They use this to inhibit analysis, by forcing termination of processes such as “fiddler”, “wireshark”, and “dnspy”.

Affected files receive the “.axxes” extension, and Midas ransom notes are deposited into all folders containing encrypted items.

Midas ransomware actors or affiliates have used commercial tools, such as TeamViewer and AnyDesk) to facilitate persistence and exfiltration.

How to Detect Midas Ransomware

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

In case you do not have SentinelOne deployed, detecting ransomware requires a combination of technical and operational measures 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.

To mitigate the risk of this Ransomware without SentinelOne deployed, it is important to take a multi-layered approach, which includes the following steps:

  1. Use anti-malware software or other security tools 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 network and system vulnerabilities and ensure that all security controls are in place and functioning properly.
  4. Educate and train employees on cybersecurity best practices, including identifying and reporting 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 Midas Ransomware

  • The SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform can return systems to their original state (which is free from re-infection) using either the epair 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 to avoid opening them, or clicking on links or buttons in them.
  2. Implement strong passwords: Organizations should implement strong, unique passwords for all user accounts, and should regularly update and rotate these passwords. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, and should 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 through 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, as well as 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 that they are working, and that they can be restored quickly and easily.

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