Threat Signal Report

LockBit 2.0 Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) Incorporates Enhanced Delivery Mechanism via Group Policy

description-logo Description

FortiGuard Labs is aware of a new variant of the LockBit ransomware, specifically version 2.0. LockBit 2.0 is ransomware as a service (RaaS). The latest variant of LockBit has an enhanced propagation component unseen before in ransomware. The latest development discovered by security researchers @MalwareHunterTeam and @VitaliKremez was reported by security news outlet Bleeping Computer that the ransomware component will automatically distribute itself throughout a domain. Affiliates of LockBit typically earn approximately 70-80% of earnings, while the authors earn the rest.

What are the Technical Details?

When the ransomware is executed on a victim's system, specifically on a compromised domain controller controlled by an attacker, the threat actor is able to deploy group policies to all machines connected to the domain. The newly deployed group policies then disable Windows Defender real time protection and various other alert and reporting mechanisms on the victim machine. The ransomware will then perform queries to see which machines are listed and from this list, the ransomware will be copied to all computers. Then a scheduled task which was preconfigured by the malicious group policy will launch the malware via a UAC bypass, which runs in the background without notification to the end user.

What Operating Systems are Affected?

Windows Operating Systems.

How Widespread is this Attack?

Details are limited on spread at this time.

What is the status of AV and IPS coverage?

FortiGuard Labs has AV coverage for known publicly available samples as:


Any Other Suggested Mitigation?

Due to the ease of disruption and potential for damage to daily operations, reputation, and unwanted release of personally identifiable information (PII), etc., it is important to keep all AV and IPS signatures up to date. It is also important to ensure that all known vendor vulnerabilities within an organization are addressed, and updated to protect against attackers establishing a foothold within a network.

Also - organizations are encouraged to conduct ongoing training sessions to educate and inform personnel about the latest phishing/spearphishing attacks. They also need to encourage employees to never open attachments from someone they don't know, and to always treat emails from unrecognized/untrusted senders with caution. Since it has been reported that various phishing and spearphishing attacks have been delivered via social engineering distribution mechanisms, it is crucial that end users within an organization be made aware of the various types of attacks being delivered. This can be accomplished through regular training sessions and impromptu tests using predetermined templates by an organizations' internal security department. Simple user awareness training on how to spot emails with malicious attachments or links could also help prevent initial access into the network.


Traffic Light Protocol

Color When Should it Be used? How may it be shared?


Not for disclosure, restricted to participants only.
Sources may use TLP:RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused. Recipients may not share TLP:RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it was originally disclosed. In the context of a meeting, for example, TLP:RED information is limited to those present at the meeting. In most circumstances, TLP:RED should be exchanged verbally or in person.


Limited disclosure, restricted to participants’ organizations.
Sources may use TLP:AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, yet carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organizations involved. Recipients may only share TLP:AMBER information with members of their own organization, and with clients or customers who need to know the information to protect themselves or prevent further harm. Sources are at liberty to specify additional intended limits of the sharing: these must be adhered to.


Limited disclosure, restricted to the community.
Sources may use TLP:GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organizations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector. Recipients may share TLP:GREEN information with peers and partner organizations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels. Information in this category can be circulated widely within a particular community. TLP:GREEN information may not be released outside of the community.


Disclosure is not limited.
Sources may use TLP:WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release. Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction.