Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program for accomplishing specific computing task. Programming involves tasks such as: analysis, generating algorithms, profiling algorithms' accuracy and resource consumption, and the implementation of algorithms in a chosen programming language (commonly referred to as coding). The source code of a program is written in one or more languages that are intelligible to programmers, rather than machine code, which is directly executed by the central processing unit. The purpose of programming is to find a sequence of instructions that will automate the performance of a task (which can be as complex as an operating system) on a computer, often for solving a given problem. The process of programming thus often requires expertise in several different subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, specialized algorithms, and formal logic.
Tasks accompanying and related to programming include: testing, debugging, source code maintenance, implementation of build systems, and management of derived artifacts, such as the machine code of computer programs. These might be considered part of the programming process, but often the term software development is used for this larger process with the term programming, implementation, or coding reserved for the actual writing of code. Software engineering combines engineering techniques with software development practices. Reverse engineering is the opposite process. A hacker is any skilled computer expert that uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem, but it can also mean a security hacker in common language.
We got hit with ransomware.
We get the call. “Hi, this is Jeff, the COO for Company X. We had
a security incident and need some help. Someone referred you
to us, and I was wondering if you can help us out. We got hit by
Abacode sends a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), a Master
Services Agreement (MSA), and a Statement of Work (SOW) for
the DFIR support. We always take care of the paperwork first to
cover ourselves and our clients.
Abacode team kicks off DFIR meeting with client. We learn that,
as of midnight, adversaries began encrypting Company X’s data
files. When employees came in around 0800, they found systems
locked and the following message:
This message is from the Maze ransomware group. As our team
starts digging into the issue, we discover the worst possible
The attacker is demanding a $2 million ransom, and Company
X’s backups were (most unfortunately) going to a local Network
Area Storage (NAS), which itself has been encrypted, just like the
primary file server and database server.
Twenty-Four Hours of Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR)
Abacode engages with a partner to facilitate the negotiation
and payment of the ransom, as well as getting the key to
decrypt the files.
Our partner reaches out to the ransomware group but gets no
reply. You often hear that these ransomware groups have great
customer service, but I have experienced many times when their
websites are unreachable, or they don’t respond to emails. Our
partner has a track record with this group and tries some other
avenues to finally connect with them.
Given the lack of backups, it appears that Company X is going
to have to pay the ransom to get a decrypt key – otherwise,
they have no financials going back two years, no way to receive
payments, and no way to ship product.
By the time Company X reached out to us, they had already
gotten a quote from another provider to help pay the ransom
and decrypt the files. However, there was no real plan for
addressing the system restoratio