What Is Maze Ransomware?

September 22, 2021 in Malware, Website Security

Maze ransomware is a form of malware targeting the data of businesses throughout the world to make it publicly available online via a website or dark web. If that sounds just like regular old ransomware to you, maybe you’re wondering: so what is Maze ransomware then? How’s it different?

In particular, Maze ransomware attackers love to hit IT service providers that keep large amounts of confidential data on a vast network of customers. Who knows—you could be one of them.

As the name implies, the authors of these kinds of attacks demand some form of payment—often in the form of cryptocurrency—in exchange for returning highly valuable encrypted data. But in this case, the bad actors involved aren’t just holding onto a single entity’s information. If only. On the contrary, Maze ransomware attacks put an entire company's public reputation at risk, because they can concern nearly everyone that organization has ever interacted with.

How Does Maze Ransomware Work?

Maze ransomware attacks can work in sneaky, sometimes unpredictable ways. Attackers will try to slip Maze ransomware onto your device through a number of avenues, including but not limited to:

  • Email spam, using deceptive links or file attachments to look like businesses or individuals you trust
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks, where one device connects to another without the need for mutual consent
  • Exploit kits, an easy-to-use, all-in-one toolset stringing together security exploits and vulnerabilities

These bad actors will stop at nothing to try and get Maze ransomware onto your device, so make sure to stay vigilant and trust your instincts about weird emails and aggressive pop-ups. Remember: if it seems suspicious to you, it’s probably bad news.

So How Do They Use The Data?

Once attackers have access to a network thanks to their ransomware, they’ll try to get privileged access to data stored throughout each and every drive on your network—not just the accessed device. This data on customers, clients, employees, and any other area of confidentiality becomes the attackers’ bargaining leverage.

Maze ransomware developers operate a website which publicly lists a dossier of victims of Maze ransomware attack victims. In addition to samples of the stolen data, this site even provides download links to the acquired data, which anyone can find.

By providing public access to their maliciously acquired data, Maze ransomware developers attempt to provoke their victims into paying the ransom. It’s all about pressuring the victim into feeling that they have no other choice; after all, this data doesn’t just pertain to top business executives with insurance and money to throw around to make problems go away. The real threat is in releasing data that can permanently destroy an organization’s valuable relationships—the kinds that make a business tick.

In the event that a ransom doesn’t get paid in time, most attackers are happy to take swift, decisive action such as:

  • Selling off stolen information to the dark web
  • Releasing public information on security breaches, and keeping the media informed
  • Driving down the victim’s share price by going directly to stock exchanges
  • Leveraging the stolen data to attack the organization’s clients and partners alike

All told, Maze ransomware attacks are no joke. These malicious acts are powerful because they use conventional ransomware distribution techniques—which time and again have been proven to work—to hit large numbers of organizations at the same time. Scary stuff.

Stay Protected With SiteLock

Now that you know about Maze ransomware, it’s time to defend you and your organization against cybercriminals. Read “What Is Ransomware?” to learn how hackers hold sites hostage—and which four steps can ensure yours will be protected.

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