BlackMatter Ransomware: Understanding the Threat Landscape

Someone handing over money to a ransomware hacker who has a key.

Among the most notorious and sophisticated forms of malware is BlackMatter ransomware. With its ability to encrypt files and hold them hostage, BlackMatter poses a significant risk to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

What is BlackMatter Ransomware?

BlackMatter ransomware, first seen in July 2021, is a highly sophisticated malware that encrypts files on targeted systems. It operates as a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) platform, allowing cybercriminal affiliates (referred to as BlackMatter actors) to deploy the ransomware against victims while sharing profits with the developers. There have been suggestions that BlackMatter is a possible rebrand of DarkSide, another notorious RaaS platform.

What Does BlackMatter Ransomware Do?

BlackMatter ransomware functions by encrypting files on infected systems, rendering them inaccessible to their rightful owners. Once the encryption process is complete, victims are presented with a ransom note that provides instructions on how to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom demands associated with BlackMatter attacks have ranged from $80,000 to $15,000,000, often requested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero.

How Does BlackMatter Ransomware Work?

BlackMatter ransomware employs various tactics and techniques to infiltrate systems and execute its malicious activities. Some of the notable
methods include:

Targeting Microsoft Active Directory: BlackMatter focuses on compromising credentials via the Lightweight Directory Active Protocol (LDAP) and the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to gain access to Microsoft Active
Directory systems.

Lateral Movement and Encryption: Once inside the network, BlackMatter ransomware utilizes built-in Windows functions to identify system resources and move laterally across systems. It searches for accessible shares and encrypts their contents, including directories like ADMIN$, C$, SYSVOL, and NETLOGON. Additionally, it may attempt to wipe or reformat backup data stores and appliances. It’s worth noting that BlackMatter can also infect Linux-based machines, expanding its reach beyond Windows systems.

Popular Types of BlackMatter Ransomware

BlackMatter ransomware operates through various strains, each with its unique characteristics and capabilities. While specific types may not be explicitly mentioned, it is crucial to stay informed about emerging variants and their evolving techniques.

Impact and Consequences of BlackMatter Ransomware

Falling victim to BlackMatter ransomware can have severe repercussions for individuals and organizations alike. The impact and consequences may include:

Data Encryption: BlackMatter encrypts critical files, leading to their inaccessibility and significant disruptions to operations.

Financial Loss: Organizations may suffer substantial financial losses due to downtime, ransom payments, legal fees, and potential reputational damage.

Operational Disruption: BlackMatter ransomware can cause system outages, loss of productivity, and damage to customer trust, impacting businesses across various industries.

Data Breach Risks: BlackMatter may threaten to leak sensitive data, exposing organizations to additional risks and potential regulatory non-compliance.

How to Protect Against BlackMatter Ransomware

Safeguarding against BlackMatter ransomware requires a proactive and multi-layered approach to cybersecurity. Here are some essential protective measures:

Regular Data Backups: Maintain secure and up-to-date backups of critical files stored offline or in isolated network environments.

Software Updates: Promptly install updates and security patches for operating systems, applications, and plugins to mitigate vulnerabilities.

Robust Security Measures: Utilize reliable antivirus and anti-malware solutions, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to detect and
prevent threats.

User Education: Train staff to recognize and avoid phishing emails, suspicious attachments, and malicious links. Foster a cybersecurity-aware culture.

Access and Privilege Management: Apply the principle of least privilege (PoLP) by granting users minimal access required to perform their tasks. Regularly review and update user permissions.

Consider SUPERAntiSpyware™: Enhance your protection against BlackMatter ransomware and other threats with a reputable anti-malware solution like SUPERAntiSpyware. It provides advanced real-time protection and powerful scanning capabilities.


BlackMatter ransomware presents a significant threat to individuals, businesses, and organizations worldwide. Understanding its characteristics, impact, and protective measures is crucial for safeguarding against this malicious threat. By implementing comprehensive cybersecurity practices, staying informed about emerging variants, and utilizing reliable security solutions like SUPERAntiSpyware, you can effectively reduce the risk of falling victim to BlackMatter ransomware. Get protected today!