FBI and Europol Sound Alarm Over $42M Loss

The newly-emerged ransomware group named Akira has been flagged by prominent global agencies for its widespread cyber intrusions, breaching over 250 organizations globally and earning nearly $42 million in ransom payments. The group has been actively targeting businesses and critical infrastructure across North America, Europe, and Australia since March 2023, expanding its threat landscape to include Linux systems as well.

In response to the escalating threat posed by Akira, the FBI, CISA, EC3, and NCSC-NL issued a cybersecurity advisory to raise awareness and mitigate future risks. The ransomware variant initially used C++ and encrypted files with a .akira extension, but later attacks began deploying Megazord, using Rust-based code to encrypt files with a .powerranges extension. Akira has targeted organizations like Nissan Oceania and Stanford University, engaging in double-extortion tactics and demanding Bitcoin payments through unique codes and .onion URLs.

Ransomware payments reached an all-time high in 2023, surpassing $1 billion, with centralized exchanges and mixers serving as key venues for laundering funds. Newer laundering services like bridges and instant exchangers also gained traction throughout the year. The FBI has warned of the resurgence of ransomware attacks, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity measures and awareness in mitigating these threats.

In response to the escalating threat posed by Akira, the FBI, CISA, EC3, and NCSC-NL issued a cybersecurity advisory to raise awareness and mitigate future risks. The ransomware variant initially used C++ and encrypted files with a .akira extension, but later attacks began deploying Megazord, using Rust-based code to encrypt files with a .powerranges extension. Akira has targeted organizations like Nissan Oceania and Stanford University, engaging in double-extortion tactics and demanding Bitcoin payments through unique codes and .onion URLs.

Ransomware payments reached an all-time high in 2023, surpassing $1 billion, with centralized exchanges and mixers serving as key venues for laundering funds. Newer laundering services like bridges and instant exchangers also gained traction throughout the year. The FBI has warned of the resurgence of ransomware attacks, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity measures and awareness in mitigating these threats.

Overall, the emergence of Akira as a prominent ransomware group highlights the growing threat of cyber intrusions targeting organizations worldwide. It is crucial for businesses to remain vigilant and implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect against such attacks. The collaboration between global agencies in issuing a cybersecurity advisory demonstrates the importance of international cooperation in addressing cyber threats and mitigating their impact. As ransomware payments continue to rise, it is essential for organizations to prioritize cybersecurity and stay informed about the evolving tactics of threat actors to safeguard their data and resources.
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