CL0P Adopts New Extortion Technique; Publishes Victim Data on Clearweb

Attack description :

The use of a clear web domain to publish links to download compromised data is a new tactic adopted by some ransomware groups. Traditionally, ransomware groups operated on the dark web, where their activities were hidden and accessible only through specialized networks. By shifting to the clear web, they make the stolen data more easily accessible to a broader audience, potentially increasing the pressure on victims to pay the ransom.

In such cases, the ransomware group may create a website with a domain name similar to the victim’s name, aiming to attract attention and credibility. On this website, they may publish links to download the exfiltrated data, threatening to release sensitive information publicly if their ransom demands are not met.


Impacts :

  1. Data Exposure and Privacy Violation: The publication of compromised data on a clear web domain means that sensitive information is readily accessible to the public. This can lead to privacy violations for individuals and organizations whose data is exposed.

  2. Reputational Damage: Public exposure of a data breach can severely damage the reputation of the targeted organization. Customers, clients, and stakeholders may lose trust in the organization’s ability to safeguard their data.

  3. Financial Losses: Ransom demands from the attackers can lead to financial losses for the targeted organization. Paying the ransom may not guarantee data recovery, and recovery efforts can be costly.

  4. Legal and Regulatory Consequences: Depending on the nature of the data exposed and applicable laws, the targeted organization may face legal actions, regulatory fines, and compliance issues.

  5. Business Disruption: Dealing with the aftermath of a ransomware attack and data exposure can disrupt normal business operations, leading to downtime and productivity losses.

  6. Intellectual Property Theft: If intellectual property or trade secrets are exposed, it can have long-term negative effects on the organization’s competitiveness and market position.

  7. Loss of Competitive Advantage: If the exposed data includes sensitive business strategies or confidential information, competitors may gain a competitive advantage
  8. Customer Loyalty Impact: Customers may lose confidence in the organization’s ability to protect their data, leading to decreased customer loyalty and potential churn.

  9. Shareholder and Investor Concerns: Shareholders and investors may become concerned about the organization’s cybersecurity practices and financial stability, impacting stock prices and investments.

  10. Operational and Recovery Costs: The process of investigating, mitigating, and recovering from a ransomware attack can be time-consuming and costly.

  11. Crisis Management: The organization may need to devote resources to crisis management, public relations, and communication efforts to address the breach and reassure stakeholders.


Mitigation and Prevention  :

Security Best Practices: Implement strong security measures, including regular software updates, endpoint protection, and network segmentation.

Data Backup and Recovery: Regularly back up critical data to offline or secure systems. This reduces the impact of data loss in case of a ransomware attack.

Security Awareness Training: Educate employees about phishing and social engineering tactics to minimize the risk of ransomware infiltration through human error.

Incident Response Plan: Develop and test an incident response plan to quickly and effectively respond to ransomware incidents.

Access Control: Limit user access privileges to only what is necessary for their roles to reduce the potential damage of a compromised account.

Monitoring and Threat Detection: Implement real-time monitoring and threat detection systems to identify suspicious activities and potential ransomware threats early.

Cyber Insurance: Consider cyber insurance to help cover the costs associated with ransomware attacks and data breaches.


 Take away: The use of a clear web domain to publish links to download compromised data is a new tactic adopted by some ransomware groups.

 Disclaimer : The information provided herein is on “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind.