New Ransomware Strain ‘CACTUS’ Exploits VPN Flaws to Infiltrate Networks


Cybersecurity researchers have shed light on a new ransomware strain called CACTUS that has been found to leverage known flaws in VPN appliances to obtain initial access to targeted networks.

“Once inside the network, CACTUS actors attempt to enumerate local and network user accounts in addition to reachable endpoints before creating new user accounts and leveraging custom scripts to automate the deployment and detonation of the ransomware encryptor via scheduled tasks,” Kroll said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

The ransomware has been observed targeting large commercial entities since March 2023, with attacks employing double extortion tactics to steal sensitive data prior to encryption. No data leak site has been identified to date.

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