Linux Servers Targeted by Akira Ransomware

Apr 22, 2024

A group of bad actors who have already extorted $42 million have their sights set on the Linux platform.

Since March of 2023, the Akira ransomware has hit businesses and critical infrastructure organizations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

According to this alter from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, "Evolving from an initial focus on Windows systems to a Linux variant targeting VMware ESXi virtual machines, Akira threat actors began deploying Megazord (a Rust-based code) and Akira (written in C++), including Akira_v2 (also Rust-based) in August 2023. Akira ransomware has impacted a wide range of businesses and critical infrastructure entities in North America, Europe, and Australia and claimed approximately $42 million (USD) in ransomware proceeds."

This new Linux variant takes advantage of specific vulnerabilities found in Linux for the purpose of credential theft and phishing.

Shortly after their Windows campaign started, the collective deployed a Linux variant of Akira that targeted VMWare ESXi virtual machines. This mutation of Akira to target Linux enterprise environments is similar to what has been happening with other ransomware groups, such as LockBit, CIOp, Royal, Monti, and RTM Locker.

According to K7 Security Labs, "It appears that the ransomware operator dynamically constructs the ransomware with a fresh public RSA key for each target, along with a corresponding Unique ID appended in the ransomware note. The purpose of this Unique ID is to facilitate the attacker in determining the specific ransomware build that infected the victim, thereby identifying the corresponding private key required for decrypting the compromised files."

The Akira group has previously disclosed stolen data on its website, should victims refuse to comply with their demands.


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