Tracking SugarLocker ransomware & operator

Date 2022. 02. 17

Executive Summary

The user “gustavedore” who operates the SugarLocker ransomware started RaaS activities in November 2021 and is looking for partners at RAMP, a dark web forum focused on ransomware.

The partner recruitment article written on the RAMP forum introduces the following:

  • Currently, the team mainly attempts to attack through networks and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).
  • Recruit only those who can start working immediately
  • No attacks on any CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries except the Baltic States and Poland
  • Proposed profit-sharing ratios as below
- Initially: 70% (partner)/30% (SugarLocker)
- After 5 successful corporate attacks: 75%/25%
- Weekly earnings of $200k: 80%/20%
- Weekly earnings of $1M: 85%/15%
- Monthly earnings of $5M: 90%/10%

SugarLocker (also known as Encoded01 ransomware) is written in Delphi and offers more options than other RaaS offerings. So far, no connection with other known ransomware groups has been confirmed. Their ransom note followed REvil’s, and their negotiation page followed CLOP’s.

  • Support for 3 execution parameters
  • Data obfuscation with custom encoding and encryption algorithms
  • It has the characteristics of RaaS with customizable setting information.
  • Provides 3 file encryption algorithms of varying speeds (SCOP, RC6, Salsa20)
  • Provides 2 key encryption algorithms (RSA, ElGamal)
  • Download Tor browser from external URL and create a shortcut file

As a result of hunting for the SugarLocker ransomware, it is presumed that the operator has been producing SugarLocker ransomware since at least early 2021. It seems that ransomware has actually been distributed since the second half of last year, but no attack cases have been confirmed so far. They do not operate a data leak site, and it seems that the ransomware name has been changed recently, so it does not appear to be active yet.

However, the ransomware functionalities were continuously updated until the end of last year, so it looks like they’re going to start full operations once partners are successfully recruited.

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