Cerber set itself apart from other file-encrypting malware when its developers commoditized the malware, adopting a business model where fellow cybercriminals can buy the ransomware as a service. The developers earn through commissions—as much as 40%—for every ransom paid by the victim. Coupled with persistence, Cerber turned into a cybercriminal goldmine that reportedly earned its developers $200,000 in commissions in a month alone last year.
Being lucrative and customizable for affiliates, it’s no wonder that Cerber spawned various iterations. Our coverage of unique Cerber samples—based on feedback from Smart Protection Network™—shows enterprises and individual users alike are taking the brunt, with the U.S. accounting for much of Cerber’s impact. We’ve also observed Cerber’s adverse impact among organizations in education, manufacturing, public sector, technology, healthcare, energy, and transportation industries.
A reflection of how far Cerber has come in the threat landscape—and how far it’ll go—is Cerber Version 6, the ransomware’s latest version we’ve uncovered and monitored since early April this year. It sports multipart arrival vectors and refashioned file encryption routines, along with defense mechanisms that include anti-sandbox and anti-AV techniques.Read More