Pinchy Spider and its affiliated cybergangs are reacting to attempts to decrypt and defend against their flagship malware GandCrab by altering how the ransomware is deployed and recruiting new members to broaden the gang’s cyberskills.

New studies by Crowdstrike and SophosLabs show Pinchy Spider is turning toward a “Big Game Hunting” deployment model where the attackers pick out a lucrative target and spend time and energy penetrating the system to maximize their return, Crowdstrike reported. This is in addition to its regular RaaS business that has exploded during the last year, said Sophos.

Brendon Feeley, Bex Hartley and Sergei Frankoff of Crowdstrike's Research & Threat Intel team detailed how Pinchy Spider has taken some extraordinary steps to improve the gang’s technical prowess in order to take on more difficult targets. Some of these moves, like recruiting for experts with Remote Desktop Protocol, corporate spamming and virtual network computing skills on dark web forums which could be tells for their new ventures which require these skills. This is in addition to continuously improving the malware with version 5.2 having been recently released.

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