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Virginia Nationwide Guard confirms cyberattack hit Virginia Protection Drive e-mail accounts

E-mail accounts related to the Virginia Protection Drive and the Virginia Division of Army Affairs had been impacted by a cyberattack in July, in line with a spokesperson from the Virginia Nationwide Guard. 

A. A. Puryear, chief of public affairs for the Virginia Nationwide Guard, informed ZDNet that the group was notified in July a couple of doable cyber menace towards the Virginia Protection Drive and commenced an investigation instantly in coordination with state and federal cybersecurity and legislation enforcement authorities to find out what was impacted 

“The investigation decided the menace impacted VDF and Virginia Division of Army Affairs e-mail accounts maintained by a contracted third social gathering, and there aren’t any indications both VDF or DMA inside IT infrastructure or information servers had been breached or had information taken,” Puryear stated. 

“There aren’t any impacts on the Virginia Military Nationwide Guard or Virginia Air Nationwide Guard IT infrastructure. The investigation is ongoing with continued coordination with state and federal companions to find out the complete influence of the menace and what acceptable comply with up actions must be taken.”

Puryear confirmed that the incident was not a ransomware assault however didn’t reply to questions on which e-mail addresses had been accessed and whether or not victims have already been notified. 

The Virginia Division of Army Affairs is the state company that helps the Virginia Military Nationwide Guard, Virginia Air Nationwide Guard and Virginia Protection Drive. The Virginia Protection Drive is the all-volunteer reserve of the Virginia Nationwide Guard and it “serves as a power multiplier” built-in into all Nationwide Guard home operations. 

On August 20, the Marketo market for stolen information started publicizing a trove of information stolen from the Virginia Division of Army Affairs. They claimed to have 1GB of information obtainable for buy.

Specialists have stated that whereas the operators behind Marketo aren’t ransomware actors, a number of the information on their web site is understood to have been taken throughout ransomware assaults and publicized as a solution to power victims into paying ransoms. 

Marketo was beforehand within the information for promoting the info of Japanese tech large Fujitsu. Digital Shadows wrote a report concerning the group in July, noting that it was created in April 2021 and sometimes markets its stolen information by way of a Twitter profile by the title of @Mannus Gott.

The gang has repeatedly claimed it isn’t a ransomware group however an “informational market.” Regardless of their claims, their Twitter account steadily shares posts that discuss with them as a ransomware group. 

Allan Liska, a part of the pc safety incident response staff at Recorded Future, famous that they do not seem like tied to any particular ransomware group. 

“They’ve taken the identical route that Babuk did and are all ‘information leaks.’ To the perfect of our information they do not declare to steal the info themselves and as a substitute they provide a public outlet to teams who do, whether or not they’re ransomware or not,” Liska stated.

Emsisoft menace analyst and ransomware skilled Brett Callow stated it’s nonetheless unclear how Marketo comes by the info they promote and added that it is usually unclear whether or not they’re chargeable for the hacks or are merely appearing as commission-based brokers. 

He added that a number of the victims on Marketo’s leak web site had been lately hit by ransomware assaults, together with X-Fab, which the Maze ransomware group hit in July 2020, and Luxottica, which was hit by Nefiliim ransomware in September.

“That stated, not less than a number of the information the gang has tried to promote could also be linked to ransomware assaults, a few of which date again to final yr. Leaked emails can signify an actual safety threat, not solely to the group from which they had been stolen, but in addition to its prospects and enterprise companions,” Callow stated. 

“They’re glorious bait for spear phishing because it permits menace actors to create extraordinarily convincing emails which can even seem like replies to present exchanges. And, in fact, it isn’t solely the preliminary menace actor that affected organizations want to fret about; it is also whoever buys the info. In reality, it is anyone who is aware of the URL, as they will obtain the ‘proof pack.'”

Previously, the group has gone as far as to ship samples of stolen information to an organization’s rivals, shoppers and companions as a solution to disgrace victims into paying for his or her information again. 

The group has lately listed dozens of organizations on their leak web site, together with the US Division of Protection, and customarily leaks a brand new one every week, largely promoting information from organizations within the US and Europe. 


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