WEBINAR | From Deal to Defense: Unifying Cybersecurity Post-M&A
Reduce Alert Noise and False Positives
Boost your team's productivity by cutting down alert noise and false positives.
Automate Security Operations
Boost efficiency, reduce burnout, and better manage risk through automation.
Dark Web Monitoring
Online protection tuned to the need of your business.
Maximize Existing Security Investments
Improve efficiencies from existing investments in security tools.
Move your security operations beyond the limitations of MDR.
Secure with Microsoft 365 E5
Boost the power of Microsoft 365 E5 security.
Secure Multi-Cloud Environments
Improve cloud security and overcome complexity across multi-cloud environments.
Secure Mergers and Acquisitions
Control cyber risk for business acquisitions and dispersed business units.
Solve security operations challenges affecting critical operational technology (OT) infrastructure.
Force-Multiply Your Security Operations
Whether you’re just starting your security journey, need to up your game, or you’re not happy with an existing service, we can help you to achieve your security goals.
Detection Investigation Response
Modernize Detection, Investigation, Response with a Security Operations Platform.
Locate and eliminate lurking threats with ReliaQuest GreyMatter
Find cyber threats that have evaded your defenses.
Security metrics to manage and improve security operations.
Breach and Attack Simulation
GreyMatter Verify is ReliaQuest’s automated breach and attack simulation capability.
Digital Risk Protection
Continuous monitoring of open, deep, and dark web sources to identify threats.
GreyMatter Phishing Analyzer removes the abuse mailbox management by automating the DIR process for you.
The GreyMatter cloud-native Open XDR platform integrates with a fast-growing number of market-leading technologies.
Unify and Optimize Your Security Operations
ReliaQuest GreyMatter is a security operations platform built on an open XDR architecture and designed to help security teams increase visibility, reduce complexity, and manage risk across their security tools, including on-premises, clouds, networks, and endpoints.
Brands of the world trust ReliaQuest to achieve their security goals.
Learn how to achieve your security outcomes faster with ReliaQuest GreyMatter.
The latest security trends and perspectives to help inform your security operations.
Industry Guides and Reports
The latest security research and industry reports.
Catch up on the latest cybersecurity podcasts, and mindset moments from our very own mental performance coaches.
A deep dive on how ReliaQuest GreyMatter addresses security challenges.
The latest white papers focused on security operations strategy, technology & insight.
Current and future SOC trends presented by our security experts.
Events & Webinars
Explore all upcoming company events, in-person and on-demand webinars
From prevention techniques to emerging security trends, our comprehensive library can arm you with the tools you need to improve your security posture.
Get the latest threat analysis from the ReliaQuest Threat Research Team. ReliaQuest ShadowTalk Weekly podcast featuring discussions on the latest cybersecurity news and threat research.
ReliaQuest's ShadowTalk is a weekly podcast featuring discussions on the latest cybersecurity news and threat research. ShadowTalk's hosts come from threat intelligence, threat hunting, security research, and leadership backgrounds providing practical perspectives on the week's top cybersecurity stories.
February 20, 2024
We bring our best attitude, energy and effort to everything we do, every day, to make security possible.
Security is a team sport.
No Show Dogs Podcast
Mental Performance Coaches Derin McMains and Dr. Nicole Detling interview world-class performers across multiple industries.
Make It Possible
Make It Possible reflects our focus on bringing cybersecurity awareness to our communities and enabling the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Join our world-class team.
Press and Media Coverage
ReliaQuest newsroom covering the latest press release and media coverage.
Become a Channel Partner
When you partner with ReliaQuest, you help deliver world-class cybersecurity solutions.
How can we help you?
A Mindset Like No Other in the Industry
Many companies tout their cultures; at ReliaQuest, we share a mindset. We focus on four values every day to make security possible: being accountable, helpful, adaptable, and focused. These values drive development of our platform, relationships with our customers and partners, and further the ReliaQuest promise of security confidence across our customers and our own teams.
After a seemingly slow quarter of ransomware activity during the late-2022 festive-holiday season, an alarming surge occurred. The first quarter of 2023 was the most prolific the ReliaQuest Threat Research Team has ever observed in terms of double-extortion ransomware groups. More victims were named on data-leak sites than in any other quarter to date—despite increased law enforcement operations and other challenges ransomware operators faced in 2022.
The Threat Research Team monitors the activity of ransomware groups on the dark web and keeps track of all victims named on ransomware data-leak websites. We also keep track of major developments and trends in the ransomware threat landscape. Let’s rewind to take a look at the most important ransomware-related events that happened during Q1 2023, plus metrics of ransomware groups and steps organizations can take for protection.
Download the full report >
Probably the most notable event in Q1 2023 was an attack campaign by “Clop,” exploiting a GoAnywhere managed file transfer (MFT) zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-0669) to breach over 130 organizations. This wasn’t Clop’s first large-scale supply-chain attack. In February 2021, Clop exploited an Accellion file transfer application (FTA) zero-day vulnerability to breach over 100 organizations.
There were many similarities between these two campaigns; both exploited zero-days in file-transfer platforms, and in both Clop chose to steal data from victims and not drop ransomware. By skipping encryption, Clop could conduct these attacks at lightning speeds, reportedly taking only ten days to steal data usingGoAnywhere MFT.
Another important story this quarter was the FBI’s significant seizure of servers of the “Hive” ransomware gang. On 26 January 2023, the US Department of Justice announced a months-long disruption campaign targeting Hive. The FBI reportedly infiltrated the group’s infrastructure in late July 2022, accessing decryption keys and preventing the payment of $130 million in ransom.
In Q1 2023, we observed close to 850 organizations being named on ransomware and data-extortion websites on the dark web. This was a 22.4% jump from the previous quarter, which had a total number closer to 700. Unsurprisingly, “LockBit” remained the most active group, by a wide margin. But the number-two spot came from a last-minute contender: Clop, with its GoAnywhere exploitation.
Figure 1: Number of victims named on top 20 ransomware data-leak sites, Q1 2023
March 2023 set the record for the most active month we have ever recorded in the history of double-extortion ransomware. More than 400 organizations were named on ransomware data-leak sites; that’s 35% more than the previous monthly record.
Figure 2: Ransomware activity by month since March 2022
Despite the bonanza of ransomware attacks, extortion-only attacks diminished substantially: by 90%. We’re talking about threat groups that steal data, threaten to leak it on data-leak sites, and then don’t end up encrypting files. The break in extortion-only activity can probably be explained by the leading extortion group, “Karakurt Hacking Team,” being largely inactive.
Figure 3: Extortion activity by month since March 2022
This doesn’t mean that extortion-only attacks are out of style. The numbers analyzed are limited to confirmed extortion groups that name victims on data-leak sites, and there are hundreds of threat actors who steal data and instead expose organizations on underground cybercriminal forums, such as XSS or Exploit. Plus, Clop’s most recent campaign, targeting GoAnywhere flaws, could be considered an extortion-only campaign.
Consistent with previous quarters, the lion’s share of ransomware attacks targeted organizations operating in the US: 45.6% of all ransomware victims named on data-leak sites were in the US. Canada and European countries took the remaining four spots in the top-five most-targeted countries list.
Figure 4: Most targeted countries by ransomware attacks in Q1 2023
The distribution of victims by sector was more equal, although the industrial goods and services sector remained the hottest target with 21.1% of all victims. A rise in healthcare industry attacks was a notable finding; over 30 healthcare organizations were named on data-leak sites in March 2023. That’s more than we’ve observed over the past four quarters.
Our full quarterly ransomware report offers:
You can also check out other ransomware-related blogs, such as our analysis of a Qbot campaign that ended with Black Basta ransomware and a SocGholish FakeUpdates campaign aimed at deploying ransomware. In addition, our threat research podcast, ShadowTalk, provides weekly discussions of new ransomware and cybercrime.