CONFERENCE On Demand: Cyber AI & Automation Summit - Watch Now
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



FBI Highlights Emerging Initial Access Methods Used by Ransomware Groups 

FBI warns that ransomware operators continue to abuse third-party vendors and services as an attack vector.

The FBI has released a fresh warning on ransomware operators compromising third-party vendors and services to abuse them for initial access to victim environments.

Threat actors have been observed exploiting vulnerabilities in vendor-controlled remote access to servers and abusing legitimate system management tools to elevate permissions in victim organizations’ networks, the Bureau says.

“The FBI continues to track reporting of third-party vendors and services as an attack vector for ransomware incidents,” the agency notes in the alert (PDF) shared by the American Hospital Association.

According to the FBI, between 2022 and 2023, multiple ransomware attacks abused third-party gaming vendors to compromise the servers of small and tribal casinos and encrypt personally identifiable information (PII).

Furthermore, the agency warns of callback-phishing data theft and extortion attacks conducted by the Silent Ransom Group (SRG), which is also tracked as Luna Moth.

The attackers initially send the victim a phishing message, typically claiming to be related to pending charges on the victim’s account, requesting them to call a specified number.

“Once the victims called the provided phone number, malicious actors directed them to join a legitimate system management tool via a link provided in a follow-up email,” the FBI explains.

The attackers then use the tool to deploy additional legitimate remote management tools, which they can use for malicious activities. The attackers targeted local and network shared drives for compromise, exfiltrated data, and attempted to extort the victim companies.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

To mitigate the risk of ransomware, the FBI encourages organizations to create backups, review the security posture of third-party vendors, secure user accounts in compliance with NIST-recommended policies, implement phishing-resistant MFA and network segmentation, monitor for suspicious activity, disable unused ports and services, and keep all systems and applications updated.

Related: Critical Infrastructure Organizations Urged to Identify Risky Communications Equipment

Related: Mozilla Warns of Fake Thunderbird Downloads Delivering Ransomware  

Related: CISA Publishes New Guidance for Achieving Zero Trust Maturity

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join us as we delve into the transformative potential of AI, predictive ChatGPT-like tools and automation to detect and defend against cyberattacks.


As cybersecurity breaches and incidents escalate, the cyber insurance ecosystem is undergoing rapid and transformational change.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


A SaaS ransomware attack against a company’s Sharepoint Online was done without using a compromised endpoint.


Several major organizations are confirming impact from the latest zero-day exploits hitting Fortra's GoAnywhere software.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Data Breaches

KFC and Taco Bell parent company Yum Brands says personal information was compromised in a January 2023 ransomware attack.


US payments giant NCR has confirmed being targeted in a ransomware attack for which the BlackCat/Alphv group has taken credit.

Malware & Threats

Unpatched and unprotected VMware ESXi servers worldwide have been targeted in a ransomware attack exploiting a vulnerability patched in 2021.