Some Ransomware Gangs are Now Phoning Victims Who Restore from Backups

“We recommend that you discuss this situation with us in the chat,” one caller warned, “or the problems with your network will never end.”

ZDNet reports: In attempts to put pressure on victims, some ransomware gangs are now cold-calling victims on their phones if they suspect that a hacked company might try to restore from backups and avoid paying ransom demands. “We’ve seen this trend since at least August-September,” Evgueni Erchov, Director of IR & Cyber Threat Intelligence at Arete Incident Response, told ZDNet on Friday…

“We think it’s the same outsourced call center group that is working for all the [ransomware gangs] as the templates and scripts are basically the same across the variants,” Bill Siegel, CEO and co-founder of cyber-security firm Coveware, told ZDNet in an email. Arete IR and Emsisoft said they’ve also seen scripted templates in phone calls received by their customers.

The use of phone calls is another escalation in the tactics used by ransomware gangs to put pressure on victims to pay ransom demands after they’ve encrypted corporate networks. Previous tactics included the use of ransom demands that double in value if victims don’t pay during an allotted time, threats to notify journalists about the victim company’s breach, or threats to leak sensitive documents on so-called “leak sites” if companies don’t pay.