On September 25, newcomer ransomware group RansomedVC claimed to have successfully compromised the computer systems of entertainment giant Sony.
Then, on October 4, news leaked that Sony had told current and former employees and their family members about another cybersecurity breach that exposed personal information. This was confirmed by a Data Breach Notification submitted in Maine.
It looks as if this is fall-out from the attack on Sony that was claimed by the Cl0p ransomware gang in June. This would mean that Sony can be chalked up as yet another victim of the MOVEit vulnerability.
A Sony spokesperson shared a statement with BleepingComputer, confirming a limited security breach:
“Sony has been investigating recent public claims of a security incident at Sony. We are working with third-party forensics experts and have identified activity on a single server located in Japan used for internal testing for the Entertainment, Technology and Services (ET&S) business. Sony has taken this server offline while the investigation is ongoing. There is currently no indication that customer or business partner data was stored on the affected server or that any other Sony systems were affected. There has been no adverse impact on Sony’s operations.”
While the FBI has warned of multiple ransomware attacks on the same victim, neither of these ransomware groups are on their list of ransomware variants that are used in these double attacks, so it is doubtful that this was the play here.
The disputed dataset contained details for the SonarQube platform, certificates, Creators Cloud, incident response policies, a device emulator for generating licenses, and more. The data stolen by Cl0p seems to contain personal information about former and current staff, including Social Security Numbers. According to the Data Breach Notification the total number of persons affected is 6791.
So it seems reasonable to assume that Sony suffered two separate breaches using different methods and stealing different datasets.
How to avoid ransomware
- Block common forms of entry. Create a plan for patching vulnerabilities in internet-facing systems quickly; and disable or harden remote access like RDP and VPNs.
- Prevent intrusions. Stop threats early before they can even infiltrate or infect your endpoints. Use endpoint security software that can prevent exploits and malware used to deliver ransomware.
- Detect intrusions. Make it harder for intruders to operate inside your organization by segmenting networks and assigning access rights prudently. Use EDR or MDR to detect unusual activity before an attack occurs.
- Stop malicious encryption. Deploy Endpoint Detection and Response software like Malwarebytes EDR that uses multiple different detection techniques to identify ransomware, and ransomware rollback to restore damaged system files.
- Create offsite, offline backups. Keep backups offsite and offline, beyond the reach of attackers. Test them regularly to make sure you can restore essential business functions swiftly.
- Don’t get attacked twice. Once you’ve isolated the outbreak and stopped the first attack, you must remove every trace of the attackers, their malware, their tools, and their methods of entry, to avoid being attacked again.
There are some actions you can take if you are, or suspect you may have been, the victim of a data breach.
- Check the vendor’s advice. Every breach is different, so check with the vendor to find out what’s happened, and follow any specific advice they offer.
- Change your password. You can make a stolen password useless to thieves by changing it. Choose a strong password that you don’t use for anything else. Better yet, let a password manager choose one for you.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If you can, use a FIDO2-compliant hardware key, laptop or phone as your second factor. Some forms of two-factor authentication (2FA) can be phished just as easily as a password. 2FA that relies on a FIDO2 device can’t be phished.
- Watch out for fake vendors. The thieves may contact you posing as the vendor. Check the vendor website to see if they are contacting victims, and verify any contacts using a different communication channel.
- Take your time. Phishing attacks often impersonate people or brands you know, and use themes that require urgent attention, such as missed deliveries, account suspensions, and security alerts.
Malwarebytes EDR and MDR removes all remnants of ransomware and prevents you from getting reinfected. Want to learn more about how we can help protect your business? Get a free trial below.