LockBit is the latest ransomware gang whose Linux encryptor has been discovered to be focusing on the encryption of VMware ESXi virtual machines.
Due to this, ransomware gangs have evolved their tactics to create Linux encryptors that specifically target the popular VMware vSphere and ESXi virtualization platforms over the past year.
In October, LockBit began promoting the new features of their Ransomware-as-a-Service operation on the RAMP hacking forums, including a new Linux encryptor that targets VMware ESXi virtual machines.
In a new report, Trend Micro researchers analyzed the ransomware gang’s Linux encryptor and explained how it’s used to target VMWare ESXi and vCenter installations.
What makes the LockBit linux encryptor stand out is the wide use of both VMware ESXI and VMware vCenter command-line utilities to check what virtual machines are running and to shut them down cleanly so they are not corrupted while being encrypted.
With the widespread use of VMware ESXI in the enterprise, all network defenders and security professional should expect that every large ransomware operation has already developed a Linux variant.