HC3: Analyst Note
Karakurt ransomware group, also known as the Karakurt Team and Karakurt Lair, is a relatively new cybercrime group, with researchers reporting its first emergence in late 2021. Karakurt actors claim to steal data and then threaten to auction it off or release it to the public unless they receive payment of the demanded ransom, which have been known to range from $25,000 to $13,000,000 in Bitcoin, with payment deadlines typically set to expire within a week of first contact with the victim. The group likely has ties to the Conti ransomware group, either as a business relationship or as a side business with Conti. Karakurt is also known for extensive harassment campaigns against victims to shame them. HC3 recommends the Healthcare and Public Health Sector (HPH) be aware of their operations and apply appropriate cybersecurity principles and practices found in this document in defending their infrastructure and data against compromise.
Impact to HPH Sector
HC3 has noted at least four attacks affecting the US Healthcare and Public Health Sector since June 2022. The observed attacks have affected an assisted living facility, a dental firm, a healthcare provider, and a hospital.
According to open source reporting, Karakurt typically conducts scanning, reconniasance, and collection on its targets for an estimated two month time span. The threat actor gains access to files containing patient names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, medical history information, medical diagnosis information, treatment information, medical record numbers and health insurance information.
The threat actor then threatens to release the information unless a ransom is paid.