Mindware Ransomware: In-Depth Analysis, Detection, and Mitigation
What is Mindware Ransomware?
Mindware ransomware was first spotted in March of 2022 and is known as a multi-pronged extortion threat appearing to be an evolution of SFile ransomware. Mindware operators have beenare observed exfiltrating all enticing data prior to encrypting devices. Victims are then extorted into paying the ransom to prevent leakage and decrypt their data.
What Does Mindware Ransomware Target?
Mindware ransomware is known to target government, healthcare, engineering, and finance sectors. They are known to heavily target non-profit and mental health-related entities specifically.
How Does Mindware Ransomware Work?
Mindware ransomware targets its victims through exposed and vulnerable applications and services such as remote desktop protocol (RDP) and third-party frameworks (e.g., Empire, Metasploit, Cobalt Strike).
Mindware ransomware payloads use a distinctive Reflective DLL injection technique in which the shellcode dynamically retrieves handles to key API functions like LoadLibraryA() and GetProcAddress() by locating function addresses through the Export Address Table loaded by the host process.
Both Mindware and SFile are known to use RDP brute force as an entry vector into target organizations.
Mindware Ransomware Technical Details
Each Mindware payload is configured for a specific target. Upon infection and successful execution, the payload drops a hardcoded ransomware note containing a combination of instructions and threats.
Reflective DLL injection allows the shellcode to be position-independent by building its own import table and parsing through when executed in memory. This means a PE file could be loaded in the form of shellcode or a DLL entirely from memory. The technique, which has also been noted in other ransomware families such as BlackMatter, avoids searching for module names directly and instead checks for hashes precalculated with a ROT13 algorithm.
How to Detect Mindware Ransomware
The SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform detects and prevents malicious behaviors and artifacts associated with Mindware ransomware.
If you do not have SentinelOne deployed, here are a few ways you can identify Mindware ransomware in your network:
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.
Monitor network traffic and look for indicators of compromise, such as unusual network traffic patterns or communication with known command-and-control servers.
Conduct regular security audits and assessments to identify network and system vulnerabilities and ensure that all security controls are in place and functioning properly.
Education & Training
Educate and train employees on cybersecurity best practices, including identifying and reporting suspicious emails or other threats.
Backup & Recovery Plan
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 Mindware Ransomware
SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform prevents Mindware ransomware infections. In case of an infection, the SentinelOne Singularity XDR Platform detects and prevents malicious behaviors and artifacts associated with Mindware ransomware.
SentinelOne customers are protected from Mindware ransomware without any need to update or take action. In cases where the policy was set to Detect Only and a device became infected, remove the infection by using SentinelOne’s unique rollback capability. As the accompanying video shows, the rollback will revert any malicious impact on the device and restore encrypted files to their original state.
In case you do not have SentinelOne deployed, there are several steps your organizations can take:
- Use anti-malware 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.
- Monitor network traffic and look for indicators of compromise such as unusual network traffic patterns, or communication with known command-and-control servers.
- 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.
- Educate and train employees on cybersecurity best practices, including how to identify and report suspicious emails, or other threats.
- 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.