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Grief Ransomware Gang Claims 41 New Victims, Targeting Manufacturers; Municipalities; And Service Companies in the U.K. And Europe

Ransomware attacks, and the sophisticated threat actors and groups behind them, have evolved considerably over the past few years to the threat landscape we see today, dominated by debilitating, targeted ransomware campaigns. Attacks are well-orchestrated and aimed at high-value organizations to cripple business operations and wreak chaos.

In this report. eSentire’s Threat Response Unit (TRU) looks at the recent targets of the Grief Ransomware Gang. The Grief Operators have earned an estimated 8.5 million British Pounds in 4 Months and have paralyzed the 2nd largest city in Greece and a major government district in Germany. The Grief Ransomware Gang is a top ransomware group, coming in just behind the Sodin/REvil, Conti/Ryuk, Black Matter (formerly Darkside) and CLOP groups.

Key findings of this report include:

  • When the Grief Group emerged on the ransomware scene at the end of May, TRU began tracking their activity and found that for the past four months they have been targeting multi-national corporations (especially manufacturers), municipalities, service organisations and school districts.
  • Recent pressure on the Grief Ransomware Gang is shifting their attention away from North America to target businesses and municipal governments in other wealthy Western markets, specifically the U.K. and Europe.
  • The TRU team found that among the 41 Grief victims, 5 are municipalities and one is a large government district consisting of 8 towns and 2 municipalities. That the Grief actors attacked such organisations doesn’t surprise us, as this sector was a favorite target when the group went under the DoppelPaymer banner.
  • Both municipal governments and educational institutions have been profitable for other ransomware groups, such as the Conti/Ryuk ransomware gang, which collected over a $1,000,000 from just three small U.S. municipalities prior to 2021. These included Jackson County, Georgia, which paid a $400,000 ransom; Riviera Beach, Florida, which paid $594,000; and LaPorte County, Indiana, which paid $130,000.
  • On Grief’s underground leak site, they prominently post the victim company’s name, company details and sample data stolen from the organisations.
  • Grief hackers taunt their victims during ransomware attacks and prominently display on their leak site various statistics around the cost of a data breach to a company.

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