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Microsoft is warning that the BlackCat ransomware crew is leveraging exploits for unpatched Exchange server vulnerabilities to gain access to targeted networks.

Upon gaining an entry point, the attackers swiftly moved to gather information about the compromised machines, followed by carrying out credential theft and lateral movement activities, before harvesting intellectual property and dropping the ransomware payload.

The entire sequence of events played out over the course of two full weeks, the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team said in a report published this week.

“In another incident we observed, we found that a ransomware affiliate gained initial access to the environment via an internet-facing Remote Desktop server using compromised credentials to sign in,” the researchers said, pointing out how “no two BlackCat ‘lives’ or deployments might look the same.”

BlackCat, also known by the names ALPHV and Noberus, is a relatively new entrant to the hyperactive ransomware space. It’s also known to be one of the first cross-platform ransomware written in Rust, exemplifying a trend where threat actors are switching to uncommon programming languages in an attempt to evade detection.

images from Hacker News