On August 11, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a joint advisory on Zeppelin ransomware. The alert provides insight into the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) along with indicators of compromise used by Zeppelin threat actors. Zeppelin has been operating since 2019 and has targeted organizations across multiple industries as well as critical infrastructure sectors.
What is Zeppelin ransomware?
Zeppelin is a Delphi-based ransomware and is run as a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). First reports of Zeppelin ransomware goes back as far as December 2019. Some reports suggest that Zeppelin ransomware originates from the Vegaslocker and Buran strains.
According to the CISA advisory, Zeppelin ransomware's infection vectors include RDP exploitation, leveraging vulnerabilities in popular FireWall products and phishing emails. Once a threat actor compromises the victim's network, it steals sensitive information from the victim before starting the file encryption process. Zeppelin ransomware typically adds a ".zeppelin" file extension to the affected files, however other files extensions used were observed. After files are encrypted, the victim is presented with a ransom note that is typically named "!!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT" containing attacker's contact information (email, Jabber, ICQ or Telegram) as well as a ransom message. Zeppelin victims are threatened that encrypted files will not be recovered, and stolen information will be released to the public if the ransom is not paid.
Ransom note from a recent Zeppelin ransomware sample
The advisory also states that threat actors ran Zeppelin ransomware more than once on the compromised network in some cases, which resulted in multiple decryption keys being required for file decryption.
What is the Status of Coverage?
FortiGuard Labs provides the following AV coverage against known Zeppelin ransomware variants: