[Conti] Ransomware Group In-Depth Analysis

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PRODAFT Threat Intelligence (PTI) Team has obtained valuable insights on the inner workings of the Conti ransomware group. The PTI team accessed Conti’s infrastructure and identified the real IP addresses of the servers in question. This report provides unprecedented detail into the way the Conti ransomware gang works, how they select their targets, how many targets they’ve breached, and more.

Their report contains some information that will be a rehash of what has previously been reported by others, but it also discloses some interesting new findings, e.g.:

One of the main objectives of our investigation was revealing the identity of the Conti affiliates, retailers, developers and servers. Our management panel analysis revealed a great deal of information regarding the servers that this group uses. One of the most valuable pieces of threat intelligence we discovered is the the real IP address of Conti’s TOR hidden service and contirecovery.ws, and 217.12.204.135, on Tuesday, 28 September 2021 21:30:03 UTC.

Additionaly, our team was able to identify the operating system details of the server hosting the TOR hidden service for Conti. The host is a Debian server with host name ”dedic-cuprum-617836”. We believe the numeric value at the end of the host name is an invoice number for the server, assigned by the hosting company ITLDC

Analyses provided by Elliptic provided additional in-depth details of payments to Conti wallets:

Of the seven active addresses, four were found to send a percentage of their incoming funds, either directly or indirectly, to the same address cluster (hereafter referred to as “Conti consolidation cluster”). For three of these addresses, almost exactly 22.5% of the original incoming funds were sent to this cluster. As a result, it appears that this consolidation cluster may represent the operator portion of these ransomware payments.

A further 31 incoming flows to this cluster were identified which appear to be ransomware payments. The majority of these send between 22-23% of their incoming funds either directly or indirectly to the Conti consolidation cluster. This common splitting pattern indicates that Conti affiliates may be awarded a percentage of the ransoms they successfully obtain, potentially contradicting CISA’s assessment of Conti operating a wage-based affiliate payment model. Of interest, several further payments were identified in which the incoming funds originate from a split of a previous ransom payment, as demonstrated in the graph below. It is unclear whether this demonstrates an attempt to obfuscate the flow of funds, or a payment to the Conti operator for other services.

Researching the addresses identified by Prodaft and the incoming payments to the consolidation cluster indicates that since July 2021, Conti has received over 500 bitcoin in
ransomware payments, valued at over $25.5 million, of which $6.2 million has been sent to the Conti consolidation cluster.

You can download the full free report here.

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