It is no secret that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the current technological climate to impose themselves on businesses as well as individuals. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that cybercrime isn’t some lone ranger operating out of his home office, more often times these hackers are made up of a network of people that operate in a business capacity.
A great example of this is the form of ransomware known as “Netwalker”.
What is “Netwalker”
Netwalker is a form of ransomware that can be defined as “Ransomware-as-a-service”(RaaS). They were discovered in September of 2019 and targets its victims on a global scale. They operate their service through a “Developer and affiliate” relationship. The developers update and service the software used to target individuals and companies while the affiliates select and actually attack the victims. Both sides of the business split the profit.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic Netwalker has increased in the targeting of healthcare systems in order to ransom sensitive and private information of patients. In addition to the healthcare industry Netwalker has targeted law enforcement, college and universities, emergency services and other companies.
Actions taken against Netwalker
As of January 27th, 2021 the U.S. Department of Justice announced a “coordinated international law enforcement action to disrupt” Netwalker and its services.
They are committed to not only disrupting the actions of this criminal group but also to the returning of ransomware payments to their victims. This action against Netwalker also included recent charges against a Canadian National related to the Netwalker service. In addition the government was able to seize roughly $454,530.19 in cryptocurrency taken from ransomware victims.
What can you do?
Learn more about what ransomware is and how to combat it:
- Ransomware: Simply Stated
- Ransomware and other destructive Malware
- Two new tools for defeating ransomware
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