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DeepBlueMagic, a ransomware group targeting the health sector

Many ransomware groups often claim they will not target hospitals or other critical infrastructure that could possibly cause physical harm in the real world, as a form of morale code. But DeepBlueMagic have shattered that stance.



DeepBlueMagic have attacked a medical centre in Israel, resulting in the cancellation of surgeries, while staff were forced to implement a fallback plan.


Furthermore, analysis by cyber-security firm Varonis has shown that DeepBlueMagic are using Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) which are less likely to be detected by traditional security solutions, including the abuse of legitimate tools such as Microsoft BitLocker.


Despite the majority of ransomware groups being financially motivated, it is true that many focus on specific victim industries, with certain sectors such as healthcare and critical infrastructure being off-limits.


This moral code has seemingly been relaxed by many groups during 2021, with attacks on hospitals and the emergency services - including police forces - on the increase, including attacks by Hive, Vice Society, FIN12, Ryuk and now DeepBlueMagic.



The recent attack by DeepBlueMagic on the Hillel Yaffe Medical Centre in Israel highlighted how cyber-attacks such as ransomware can have a real-world impact and can even result in physical harm.


It is believed that the group gained initial access to the hospitals network by exploiting a well-documented and previously alerted upon (NMC-A43-21) vulnerability within Pulse Secure VPN.

While many ransomware groups use custom built tools to encrypt the files of their victim, DeepBlueMagic have opted to abuse legitimate tools, including Microsoft Bitlocker and Jetico's BestCrypt.


BitLocker is an encryption feature included with Microsoft Windows versions. These tools are widely and legitimately used across industry, meaning that they are unlikely to trigger traditional security solutions. The use of these tools has been linked to historic attacks orchestrated by TimisoaraHackerTeam (THT), perhaps indicating a relationship between THT and DeepBlueMagic.



Reporting

Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).


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