Agenda Ransomware Hits the Scene

  • By Steven
  • Sep 01, 2022

Agenda ransomware is causing widespread harm. This uniquely nasty ransomware is referred to as "Agenda" for the moment. Though we will not know the full extent of the new ransomware's impact until the threat is contained, we have some preliminary information stemming from descriptions provided by Agenda victims. 

The Agenda threat has been spotted "in the wild", zeroing in on educational and healthcare institutions worldwide. If preventative action is not taken, Agenda will spread to every corner of the globe, infecting healthcare businesses and organizations of all types and sizes.

How Has Agenda Been Deployed?

Agenda was employed in an attack against a Citrix server of the public-facing variety. The hackers used that server to gain access to sensitive data. It appears as though the Agenda hackers used valid accounts to connect to the server and steal valuable information.

Why is Agenda Such a Problem?

Agenda has digital security professionals feeling uneasy for a good reason. This new ransomware threat reboots systems in safe mode before attempting to halt processes specific to servers. The ransomware runs in several different modes, making it all the more difficult to defend against.

Who is Behind the new Ransomware?

Qilin, a hacking collective, has been highlighted as the threat actor advertising the ransomware on the dark web. Qilin's hackers are advanced to the point that they offer options to affiliates to customize binary payloads for victims, empowering operators to select the ransom note, processes list, encryption extension, and services to reach termination prior to launching the process necessary for encrypting the information.

The new ransomware's design is intricate enough to implement techniques to identify evasion, ultimately capitalizing on the device's safe mode feature. This approach allows for an unnoticed file encryption routine. However, the default password must be changed to allow automatic login.

What Occurs After the Encryption Process?

Once the encryption is complete, the files are renamed with the proper configured extension. The ransom note is placed in the encrypted directories, ensuring the machine reboots in its regular mode. The amount of funds requested from targeted businesses differ based on cash reserves, the challenge of the hack, and other variables. 

The strategy described above is somewhat similar to that employed during the Black Basta attacks, initially appearing in the Spring of 2022. Those who study cybersecurity and keep up with the industry news are quick to point out Agenda was preceded by Luna, Hive, and BlackCat, each of which uses the Go language for programming. 

Black Basta employs double extortion techniques with the encryption of files on systems that target organizations, requesting ransom to ensure decryption can occur. This style of attack also included online threats, making it clear that hackers will post sensitive data unless the victim pays the ransom money. This calculated approach has led to the hacks of 75 organizations, an increase from a mere 50 in the previous month.

Should Healthcare Companies be Worried?

Indeed, there is a reason for worry. Agenda is quickly spreading across the globe, infiltrating healthcare company networks, functioning in several modes, and even rebooting systems in safe mode for exploitation. Agenda is also problematic in that it stops services and processes of servers necessary for conducting business. 

Adding to the depth of the threat is that it attacks in several modes, making the infiltration that much more dynamic. The key takeaway from this story is the following: if you have not yet updated your cybersecurity safeguards, now is the time to do so.

About the Author
IDStrong Logo

Related Articles

Instagram Vulnerability Allowed Hackers Access to Control Your Phone

Security experts Check Point Research discovered a critical vulnerability while examining Instagra ... Read More

Alien Malware Infects More than 226 Mobile Apps and Steals Bank Data

As reported on September 24, 2020, by ZDNet and ThreatPost, a new strain of malware named “Alien ... Read More

Universal Health Systems Hit by Ransomware Attack

Universal Health Systems (UHS), a Fortune 500 company owning more than 400 hospitals across the co ... Read More

Exchange Server Bug Exposes a Big Risk to Hackers

Months after Microsoft released a patch to fix a serious flaw in MS Exchange Server, more than 61% ... Read More

Clients’ Bank Data Exposed in Blackbaud Ransomware Attack

Blackbaud software was victim to a ransomware attack last May, and new information suggests that c ... Read More

Latest Articles

Nelnet Data Breach Impacts 2.5 Million Students

Nelnet Data Breach Impacts 2.5 Million Students

Nelnet is a student loan service based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Recently, it suffered a data breach that revealed the personal information of over 2.

Facebook has Been Receiving a Plethora of Medical Information

Facebook has Been Receiving a Plethora of Medical Information

In early June of 2022, the nonprofit news reporter The Markup discovered that an ad-based service, Meta Pixel, was being used by 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the US. Meta is now being sued for allegedly sending sensitive medical information to Facebook, along with two of the involved hospitals.

What is the Geek Squad Email Scam and How to Avoid It

What is the Geek Squad Email Scam and How to Avoid It

Computers are, arguably, one of the most essential items necessary for life in modernity. Through them, not only can we be entertained, but we can be informed or critiqued.

Featured Articles

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

Buying your own home is the American Dream, but it might seem out of reach to those with bad credit. However, the good news is, if your credit is less than perfect, you do still have options and in most cases, can still buy a home.

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

Any good IT article on computers and network security will address the importance of strong, secure passwords. However, the challenge of good passwords is that most people have a hard time remembering them, so they use simple or obvious ones that pose a security risk.

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Senior scams are becoming a major epidemic for two reasons. First, seniors often have a lot of money in the bank from a life of working hard and saving.

Free Identity Threat Scan
Instantly Check if Your Personal Information is Exposed
All fields below are required
Please enter first name
Please enter last name
Please enter a city
Please select a state
Please enter an email address
Close