Ransomware

MEDUSA Ransomware Targets US School And Accounting Firm

School & firm targeted are Tri-City College Prep High School and Fitzgerald, DePietro & Wojnas CPAs, P.C.

by Krishna Murthy June 18th, 2024

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Threat Actors (TAs) associated with the notorious MEDUSA ransomware have escalated their activities and have allegedly targeted two institutions in the USA.

In a scenario mirroring all of its previous attacks, the group has not divulged critical information, such as the type of compromised data.

It has, however, demanded a bounty of US $120,000 from Fitzgerald, DePietro & Wojnas CPAs, P.C and $100,000 from Tri-City College Prep High School to stop leaking internal data of the concerned organizations.

Understanding the MEDUSA Ransomware Attack

One of the two institutions targeted by MEDUSA is Tri-Cities Preparatory High School, a public charter middle and high school located in Prescott, Arizona, USA. The threat actor claimed to have access to 1.2 GB of the school’s data and has threatened to publish it within 7-8 days.

The other organization that the group has claimed to have targeted is Fitzgerald, DePietro & Wojnas CPAs, P.C. It is an accounting firm based in Utica, New York, USA. The group claims to have access to 92.5 GB of the firm’s data and has threatened to publish it within 8–9 days.

Despite the tall claims made by the ransomware group, the official websites of the targeted companies seem to be fully functional, with no signs of any foul activity. The organizations, however, have not yet reacted to the alleged cyberattack, leaving the claims made by the ransomware group unverified.  The article would be updated once the respective organizations respond to the claims.

The absence of confirmation raises the question of the authenticity of the ransomware claim. It remains to be seen if the tactic employed by MEDUSA group is to garner attention or if there are any ulterior motives attached to their actions. Only an official statement by the affected organizations can reveal the true nature of the situation.

However, if the claims made by the MEDUSA ransomware group do turn out to be true, then the consequences could be sweeping. The potential leak of sensitive data could pose a significant threat to the affected organizations and their staff, students and employees.

Who is the MEDUSA Ransomware Group?

MEDUSA first came into limelight in June 2021 and has since launched attacks on organizations in many countries targeting multiple industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and retail. Most of the victims, though, have established their base in the United States of America.

MEDUSA carries out its attacks as a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform. It provides would-be target organizations with malicious software and infrastructure required to carry out disrupting ransomware attacks.

The ransomware group also runs a public Telegram channel that TAs utilize to post data that might be stolen, which could be an attempt to extort organizations and demand ransom.

History of MEDUSA Ransomware Attacks

Last week, the Medusa group took ownership of the cyberattack on Australia’s Victoria Racing Club (VRC). To provide authenticity, Medusa shared thirty documents from the club and demanded a ransom of US$700,000 from anyone who wanted to either delete the data or else download it. The leaked data included financial details of gaming machines, prizes won by VRC members, customer invoices, marketing details, names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers.

The VRC confirmed the breach, with its chief executive Steve Rosich releasing a statement: “We are currently communicating with our employees, members, partners, and sponsors to inform them that the VRC recently experienced a cyber incident.”

In 2024, MEDUSA had targeted four organizations across different countries, including France, Italy, and Spain. The group’s modus operandi remains constant, with announcements being made on their dark web forum accompanied by deadlines and ransom demands.

As organizations grapple with the fallout of cyberattacks by groups like MEDUSA, it becomes critical to remain cautious and implement strategic security measures.

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