Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Sophisticated Noberus Ransomware First to Be Coded in Rust

Symantec researchers have analyzed what appears to be the first ransomware family written in the Rust programming language.

Symantec researchers have analyzed what appears to be the first ransomware family written in the Rust programming language.

Dubbed Noberus, but also referred to as ALPHV or BlackCat, this new and sophisticated ransomware family made an appearance last month, with its operators stealing data to use it as leverage and pressure the victim into paying the ransom.

As part of a single Noberus attack, Symantec’s security researchers say, three different variants of the ransomware were deployed on the victim organization’s network.

The suspicious activity started on November 3, but the ransomware wasn’t deployed until November 18. Prior to Noberus’ execution, the legitimate remote access program ConnectWise was deployed on the network, suggesting that the tool was abused for ransomware deployment.

This, however, is not surprising, as ConnectWise has been exploited in previous attacks to gain access to victim organizations’ environments.

According to Symantec, the adversary first gained access to the victim’s network on November 3, when two systems were infected. PsExec was also executed to disable the ‘RestrictedAdmin mode’ remote administration feature, which enabled the adversary to gain higher administrative privileges.

On November 18, PsExec was used to execute PowerShell commands that disabled Windows Defender and add *.exe to the AV scanning exclusion list across the organization. On the same day, PsExec was used to deploy Noberus.

The ransomware, the researchers discovered, requires a specific unique key for execution and the same key is used to distinguish between victims on the operators’ Tor website. Noberus also has the victim’s administrative credentials embedded in its configuration block, proof of a targeted attack.

On the infected machines, the ransomware deletes all available shadow copies, collects system information to generate the unique key, attempts to mount hidden partitions to use them as propagation mechanism, and appends the .sykffle extension to encrypted files.

Although the victim organization discovered the attack and deployed remediation software, the adversary managed to regain access to the network and deploy another variant of Noberus.

“In total, three variants of this ransomware were identified during this intrusion, leading to at least 261 machines on the network becoming infected with Noberus,” Symantec says.

The ransomware, the researchers note, doesn’t appear to have weaknesses in its encryption process. It also appears that its developers are actively looking for affiliates on Russian-speaking hacking forums.

Related: North American Propane Distributor ‘Superior Plus’ Discloses Ransomware Attack

Related: HR Management Firm Kronos Needs Weeks to Recover From Ransomware Attack

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.


The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Management & Strategy

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


The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.


A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.


US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...


The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.