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Federal authorities are warning businesses to shore up cybersecurity defenses as it carefully monitors the reemergence of the DarkSide ransomware gang, believed responsible for the crippling Colonial Pipeline attack in May 2021. The ransomware-as-a-service gang has regrouped under the moniker BlackMatter, according to a joint advisory posted Monday by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA). The joint advisory also details what it believes are DarkSide tactics used by the BlackMatter group since they began tracking the revamped criminal organization in July 2021. Mitigations and Recommendations The advisory offers cyber defense tips and potential mitigations for attacks. “Using embedded, previously compromised credentials, BlackMatter leverages the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to access the Active Directory (AD) to discover all hosts on the network,” according to the advisory. “BlackMatter then remotely encrypts the hosts and shared drives as they are found.” Because of its tactic to use stolen credentials to breach networks, some of the primary mitigations for defending against BlackMatter attacks are related to how organizations handle user authentication and thus are practical fixes. The agencies recommend enforcing strong passwords and implementing MFA across networks to avoid allowing compromise with stolen credentials. Using the detection signatures…

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