A new ransomware spreading through email is on the loose.
On the outset, the worm detected by Trend Micro as WORM_RANSOM.FD may look like a normal mass-mailing worm but further analysis reveals that this comes with a deadly payload. With only a few exceptions (files with .rwg, .dll, .exe, .ini, .vxd, and .drv extensions are not affected), it encrypts files in the affected system using the Blowfish algorithm, thereby rendering them unusable. A .RWG extension is then appended to the filenames to serve as a marker.
Defying the norm of a typical ransomware however, WORM_RANSOM.FD does not ask for money in exchange for the files. Instead, it gives the affected user three options as to how he or she can retrieve his or her files:
So, unless Windows users are willing to migrate to Linux or wait for the decryptor program that may or may not come, Option 1 may seem the only plausible solution. Resourceful techies may opt to try their hand in manually decrypting the files, but for those stuck with Option 1, Trend Micro already provides a fixtool that will automatically restore the files.
Our experts believe that ransomware is a high-risk/moderate reward business model that will not significantly increase. This is because it goes against one of the key features most cybercriminals are relying on in terms of developing malware, which is stealth. Almost all aspects of a ransomware attack is quite visible.
For one, the payload is visible — users are informed that their files are held hostage, so these users can easily turn to their AV vendors for help in detection/cleanup, mitigating further infection from other users. Another is that cybercriminals have to leave contact details for the payment. These contact details can be used by law enforcement to track down the attackers.
Users who’ve found themselves victims of this attack may either use Trend Micro’s fixtool or ask for assistance.