FIN12 Ransomware Threat Actor Aggressively Pursued Healthcare Targets

FIN12’s operations provide illustration that no target is off limits when it comes to ransomware attacks, including those that provide critical care functions.
Almost 20 percent of directly observed FIN12 victims were in the healthcare industry and many of these organizations operate medical facilities.
Mandiant observed FIN12 activity at healthcare organizations both before and after the joint alert by multiple U.S. government entities in October 2020 that warned of an “increased and imminent” threat to hospitals and medical facilities.
This targeting pattern deviates from some other ransomware threat actors who had at least stated an intention to show restraint in targeting hospitals, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIN12’s remaining victims have operated in a broad range of sectors, including but not limited to business services, education, finance, government, manufacturing, retail, and technology.

While these victim organizations have been overwhelmingly located in North America, there is some evidence that FIN12’s regional targeting is expanding.
Nearly 85 percent of the group’s known victims have been based in North America, however, Mandiant observed twice as many victim organizations based outside of North America in the first half of 2021 than they observed in 2019 and 2020 combined.
Collectively, these organizations have been based in Australia, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
This shift could be due to various factors such as FIN12 working with more diverse partners to obtain initial access and increasingly elevated and unwanted attention from the U.S. government.

Mandiant believe that the most significant factor in FIN12’s targeting calculus has been a victim’s annual revenue.
The vast majority of known FIN12 victims have more than $300 million USD in revenue, based on corporate financial data compiled from ZoomInfo.
While this data is skewed to our direct visibility, FIN12 does appear to consistently target larger companies in comparison to the average ransomware affiliate.
Targeting victims that meet a certain revenue threshold also aligns with underground forum activity; some threat actors, including those using RYUK, have specified different ranges of minimum requirements for potential victims’ annual revenue.
Further, comments detailing revenue information in malware administration panels operated by FIN12’s initial access providers illustrate that this is a relevant factor for victim selection or at minimum for prioritization of available targets.
FIN12’s selection of high-value targets is consistent with the broader trend of threat actors pursuing larger targets in recent years, almost certainly because of the perception that it justifies proportionally large ransom demands.

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