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Maze/Egregor Ransomware Earned over $75 Million

While the group is crippled now, it's the one that started many innovations in the ransomware space.

 

Researchers at Analyst1 have noticed that the Maze/Egregor ransomware cartel has made at least $75 million in ransom payments to date. This figure is the base of their estimations, as the maximum could be conceivably more since not every victim has disclosed paying to the threat actor. While the group is crippled presently, it is the one that began numerous innovations in the ransomware space. 

“We believe this figure to be much more significant, but we can only assess the publicly acknowledged ransom payments. Many victims never publicly report when they pay a ransom,” security firm Analyst1 said in a 58-page report published this week. 

Analyst1's discoveries are in accordance with a similar report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, which listed the Maze group as the third most profitable ransomware operation — behind Ryuk and Doppelpaymer. 

The now-dead ransomware Maze group was a pioneer in its times. Started in mid-2019, the group was closed down for obscure reasons before the end of last year however resurrected as Egregor ransomware. The greater part of the code, working mechanism, and different clues call attention to that Egregor is the new Maze group. The group dealt with a purported RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service), permitting other cybercrime actors to lease admittance to their ransomware strain. These clients, likewise called affiliates, would penetrate organizations and send the Maze groups ransomware as an approach to encrypt files and extort payments.

But, while there were a lot of ransomware groups working on similar RaaS plans, the Maze group became famous by making a “leak site” where they'd regularly list organizations they infected, which was a novelty at that point, in December 2019. 

This branding change didn't influence the group's prosperity. Indeed, both Maze and Egregor positioned as the second and third most active RaaS services on the market, representing almost a fourth of all victims recorded on leak sites a year ago. As per Analyst1's report published for the current week, this heightened period of activity additionally converted into money-related benefits, based on transactions the company was able to track on public blockchains. 

However, this achievement additionally drew attention from law enforcement, which started putting hefty assets into researching and finding the group. Right now, the Maze/Egregor group is on a hiatus, having stopped activities after French and Ukrainian authorities captured three of their members in mid-February, including a member from its core team.
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