They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Take the case of CrypMIC—detected by Trend Micro as RANSOM_CRYPMIC—a new ransomware family that mimics CryptXXX in terms of entry point, ransom notes and payment site UIs. CrypMIC’s perpetrators are possibly looking for a quick buck owing to the recent success of CryptXXX.Read More
The departure of TeslaCrypt from the ransomware circle has gone and made waves in the cybercriminal world. Bad guys appear to be jumping ships in hopes of getting a chunk out of the share that was previously owned by TeslaCrypt. In line with this recent event, indicators are pointing to a new strong man in the ransomware game: CryptXXX.Read More
While ransomware has noticeably plateaued in today’s threat landscape, it’s still a cybercriminal staple. In fact, it saw a slight increase in activity in the first half of 2018, keeping pace by being fine-tuned to evade security solutions, or in the case of PyLocky (detected by Trend Micro as RANSOM_PYLOCKY.A), imitate established ransomware families and ride on their notoriety.
In late July and throughout August, we observed waves of spam email delivering the PyLocky ransomware. Although it tries to pass off as Locky in its ransom note, PyLocky is unrelated to Locky. PyLocky is written in Python, a popular scripting language; and packaged with PyInstaller, a tool used to package Python-based programs as standalone executables.Read More
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
In early December, GoldenEye ransomware (detected by Trend Micro as RANSOM_GOLDENEYE.A) was observed targeting German-speaking users—particularly those belonging to the human resource department. GoldenEye, a relabeled version of the Petya (RANSOM_PETYA) and Mischa (RANSOM_MISCHA) ransomware combo, not only kept to the James Bond theme of its earlier iteration, but also its attack vector.
Given ransomware’s likely outlook to reach a plateau, persistence in the threat landscape and diversification of target victims are the names of the game. GoldenEye exemplifies bad guys trying to gain scale, leverage, and profit with rehashed malware.Read More