Hive, which is one of the more notable ransomware families of 2021, made waves in the latter half of the year after breaching over 300 organizations in just four months — allowing the group to earn what could potentially be millions of US dollars in profit. In March 2022, we came across evidence that another, relatively unknown, ransomware known as Nokoyawa is likely connected with Hive, as the two families share some striking similarities in their attack chain, from the tools used to the order in which they execute various steps. Currently, the majority of Nokoyawa’s targets are located in South America, primarily in Argentina.
Attack chain similarities and differences
Some of the indicators we’ve observed being shared by both Nokoyawa and Hive include the use of Cobalt Strike as part of the arrival phase of the attack, as well as the use of legitimate, but commonly abused, tools such as the anti-rootkit scanners GMER and PC Hunter for defense evasion. Other steps, such as information gathering and lateral deployment, are also similar.
Source: Trend Micro