BlackCat’s Catastrophic Curtain Call: Ransomware Gang’s $5 Million Exit Scam Spectacle

In a twist worthy of a Hollywood heist movie, the BlackCat ransomware gang is allegedly pulling the ultimate switcheroo, trading their hacker hats for runners’ sneakers as they exit-scam into the sunset—with affiliates’ cash in tow. Cue the “FBI” ruse and a $5 million malware fire sale!

Hot Take:

Looks like the BlackCat ransomware gang might be on its ninth life, pulling the ultimate “it wasn’t me, it was the feds” card. While they’re at it, they’re trying to sell their malware’s secret sauce for a cool $5 million. I guess even cybercriminals aren’t immune to the old bait and switch—or should we say byte and switch? 🐱‍💻🚔

Key Points:

  • BlackCat ransomware gang is apparently playing ‘catch me if you can’ with their affiliates, pulling an exit scam and blaming the FBI for their woes.
  • The gang’s Tor data leak blog and negotiation servers have gone dark, and they’ve changed their Tox status to ‘GG’—cybercriminal for “game over.”
  • They’ve also put up a for-sale sign on their malware source code, asking price: a mere $5 million (bargain or bust?).
  • Affiliates are crying foul, claiming the operators ran off with a $20 million ransom payday, leaving them high and dry.
  • A fake FBI seizure notice has been slapped onto their website, but it’s about as convincing as a hacker claiming they’re just “checking for vulnerabilities.”

Need to know more?

The Great Cyber Heist

If you thought daytime soap operas had drama, wait till you hear about the BlackCat ransomware gang’s latest shenanigans. They're pulling the cyber equivalent of pretending to be dead to get out of paying their affiliates. And in a bold move that’s less Ocean's Eleven and more Home Alone, they’ve slapped a fake FBI seizure banner on their site. Because nothing says "innocent" like a homemade "Cops got us!" sign, right?

Once a Cyber Menace, Always a Cyber Menace?

The BlackCat/ALPHV gang isn't new to the cybercrime catwalk. They've strutted their stuff since 2020, rebranding faster than a social media influencer in hot water. From DarkSide to BlackMatter and now BlackCat/ALPHV, they've had more face-lifts than a Hollywood starlet. But after their recent debacle, these cool cats might find that their nine lives are up, at least in the trust department.

The Affiliate's Tale of Woe

Imagine you're a cybercriminal, and you’ve just scored a $22 million ransom. You're ready to convert that digital dough into margaritas on the beach. But, plot twist, the boss has ghosted you with the loot! That's the sob story from one of BlackCat's affiliates who claims the gang took the money and ran faster than Usain Bolt with the baton. If there’s honor among thieves, it's definitely on vacation here.

FBI or DIY?

When it comes to faking an FBI takedown, you'd expect a group of elite hackers to pull off something spectacular. Alas, our BlackCat friends went the DIY route, hosting a seizure banner image that screams "I made this in my basement." Ransomware expert Fabian Wosar even called them out for being lazy. Yikes! When even the pros are facepalming, you know you've botched the job.

Is This the Final Catnap?

The BlackCat gang's nine lives may be dwindling. They've gone from cyber menace to the cyber world's most wanted after targeting critical infrastructure. Now, with affiliates betrayed, law enforcement on their tail, and their credibility in the litter box, it's anyone's guess whether they'll land on their feet—or if it's the end of the cat burglar road for these feline felons.

Conclusion: The Cat's Out of the Bag

There you have it: a tale of cyber deception, betrayal, and a not-so-graceful exit. As the BlackCat gang tries to slip away into the night, one thing's for sure: their story has been more twist-filled than a corkscrew. Will they resurface with a new alias or are they scampering off for good? Only time will tell, but for now, we'll keep our computers close and our cybersecurity closer.

Tags: affiliate betrayal, ALPHV malware source code, BlackCat ransomware, cryptocurrency transactions, FBI seizure hoax, ransomware exit scam, Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)