Conti ransomware gang data leaked by Ukrainian cyber researcher

Abstract silhouette of a computer hacker in front of a Russian flag
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A Ukrainian cyber researcher has unveiled data belonging to the notorious Conti ransomware gang.

The researcher had access to the gang’s systems and released the data after the group declared its support for Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, said Alex Holden, CTO of Hold Security, as reported by Bank Info Security. The researcher’s name cannot be shared.

The data is in JSON format and includes Jabber chat logs, Bitcoin addresses, and negotiations between ransomware victims and Conti attackers. A large part of the data is internal chat logs between members and affiliates of the ransomware group, which reportedly includes personal details, conflicts, and accusations.

There are also logs related to Trickbot, a botnet that has been used in the past to distribute the Conti ransomware, said Holden. The data range is from January 2021 to early February 2022.

Holden added that the Conti data is a must-read for any security professionals as it provides an insight into how early ransomware really works.

A group of malware researchers called VX-Underground has also taken a look at the data and shared it publicly after verifying it.

News of the data leak comes as Ukraine unveils plans to create an “IT army” to fight against Russia’s digital intrusions. Mykhailo Federov, the country’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, announced on Twitter that the government needs digital talents.

“There will be tasks for everyone,” he wrote. “We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.”

Cyber attacks on the Ukrainian government and soldiers increased last week following the invasion of the country by Russia. The attacks are part of Russia’s hybrid war strategy, where it is deploying destructive malware and denial of services. In the wake of the atacks, organisations have been urged to adopt an enhanced cyber security position.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.