Ain’t No Actor Trustworthy Enough: The importance of validating sources

KELA Cyber Intelligence Center

The list of ransomware victims has risen dramatically over the last few years. Due to the adoption of the “double extortion” tactic, companies now pay for data not being released and not only for the sole unlocking of computers. KELA is regularly monitoring ransomware gangs’ blogs where attackers announce their victims and leak data. Some actors are operating similar data leak sites though they do not necessarily use ransomware; they steal data through other means of infiltration and then threaten to release it or sell it to third parties or resell data stolen by other actors. In addition to that, some actors offer old or non-existing leaks and make fake and intimidating claims. 

These offers have a direct impact on the cybersecurity landscape, generating extensive noise and preventing cyber threat researchers from focusing on real threats. Therefore, it becomes more important to validate sources before starting to follow them closely and accepting everything at face value. In this blog, KELA will share our process of reviewing new sources and assigning a level of threat, addressing sites such as:

  • Amigos
  • Coomingproject
  • Dark Leaks Market
  • Quantum 
  • Groove