There was a time when there wasn’t, and there was a time when there wasn’t. This is not the beginning of a fairy tale, but rather the storey of the infamous BlackMatter ransomware. It was founded when REvil and DarkSide both closed their doors. BlackMatter has risen to prominence in a short period of time, but its time in the underground appears to be coming to an end, according to its operators.
Due to mounting pressure from law authorities, the group announced on its RaaS portal that it is compelled to shut down its activities. This news follows a previous worldwide operation in which law enforcement detained 12 people connected to 1,800 ransomware assaults in 71 countries. BlackMatter also instructed its victims to use the corporate chat to get a decryptor.
The current affiliates are redirecting their victims to the LockBit site to continue their extortion, but BlackMatter’s infrastructure remains operational.
Victims are now being directed to LockBit’s Tor sites to begin a fresh bargaining process. The affiliates are still negotiating ransom payments with victims.
BlackMatter has removed its presence from Russian-language hacking forums and withdrawn four Bitcoins from the Exploit hacking community.
The gang is also modifying its posts and requesting that they be removed by the moderators.
At the moment, the threat presented by BlackMatter appears to be minor, despite the fact that the switch to LockBit has made the latter one of the most effective ransomware operations. Experts believe BlackMatter will reorganise in the near future, but the alliance with LockBit may cost them a few competent affiliates.
Law enforcement is putting a lot of pressure on ransomware groups after numerous recent assaults generated a huge outrage throughout the world. Some examples include DarkSide ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and Revil ransomware attacks on JBS Foods and Kaseya. Furthermore, the Biden administration has offered a $10 million prize to anyone who can provide credible information about DarkSide, as well as a $5 million incentive to anyone who can lead law enforcement agencies to the offenders for arrests. However, with the sun comes the possibility of grey clouds in the form of BlackMatter reinventing itself. Only time will tell.