Little-known ransomware gang claims responsibility for cyberattack on Ohio Lottery | #ransomware | #cybercrime

A previously little-known ransomware gang has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on the Ohio Lottery that allegedly involved the theft of personally identifiable information.

Officially described as a “cybersecurity event” by Ohio Lottery, the attack is said to have occurred on Dec. 24 and affected some systems. The lottery took steps to mitigate the attack, including taking certain systems offline and hiring cybersecurity professionals to assist with an investigation.

Ohio Lottery has neither confirmed nor denied that employee or customer data was impacted, saying only that the investigation is ongoing and that they will notify anyone affected as quickly as possible in compliance with applicable laws.

In an update today, Ohio Lottery told a local media outlet that “while the cybersecurity incident investigation is ongoing, the State wants to reiterate that if any consumer data was compromised, it will take all measures to assist with credit monitoring to protect Ohioans.”

While tickets for the lottery remain available to purchase, the outward sign of system issues is the lottery restricting sales of some games on its website and mobile app. Additionally, prizes over $599 cannot currently be cashed through the mobile app or at “Super Retailer” locations, with winners of prizes of $600 or more needing to mail their tickets to the Ohio Lottery Central Office to claim their prize.

That the “cybersecurity incident” remains ongoing and that the lottery took certain systems offline points to a ransomware attack and a new ransomware group has claimed responsibility – DragonForce.

Bleeping Computer reports that the DragonForce ransomware gang has claimed on their leaks site that they stole data during the attack, including more than three million records covering names, addresses, email addresses, winning amounts, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth and records of employees and players. The gang claims that the stolen data totals over 600 GB.

The notice from the gang references an offer to both decrypt files and delete stolen data, suggesting the gang undertook a double-tap ransomware attack – one where data is both encrypted and stolen to pressure the victim into paying a ransom.

Little is known about DragonForce – it could likely involve a group of hackers who have operated as part of other known ransomware and hacking gangs, such as LockBit, but they have burst onto the scene with force as the Ohio Lottery isn’t their only victim. The group has also attacked Yakult Australia and claims to have hacked two dozen other targets since early December.

Image: DALL-E 3

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