We encountered a ransomware unlike other variants that we have seen previously. A typical ransomware encrypts files or restricts user access to the infected system. However, we found that this particular variant infects the Master Boot Record (MBR), preventing the operating system from loading. Based on our analysis, this malware copies the original MBR and overwrites it with its own malicious code. Right after performing this routine, it automatically restarts the system for the infection to take effect. When the system restarts, the ransomware displays the following message:
This message prompt informs affected users that the PC is now blocked and that they should pay 920 hryvnia (UAH) via QIWI to a purse number (12 digits) – 380682699268. Once paid,they will receive a code that will unlock the system. This code will supposedly resume operating system to load and remove the infection. This particular variant has the “unlock code” in its body. When the unlock code is used, the MBR routine is removed.
Trend Micro detects this ransomware as TROJ_RANSOM.AQB and the infected MBR as BOOT_RANSOM.AQB.