User Friendly Ransomware

A new flavor of Ransomware leads with a ‘friendly’ offer.–PC Pitstop

User Friendly Ransomware

By Stu Sjouwerman, for Security Awareness Training

It’s been more than a year since the first vicious ransomware stuck up its ugly head.

Turns out this was a hugely successful criminal business model, and more than 10 competing copycats followed soon. Here is a whitepaper that gives you the short history of ransomware.

Some were more professionally implemented than others, but most of them use strong cryptography to grab data files from drive C and follows up with all mapped drives in alphabetical order. The latest strain has a new trick up its sleeve: it allows victims to decrypt one of the encrypted files for free, and starts out cheaper than the rest. It’s “only” 200 bucks instead of 500.

The critter is called CoinVault (not to be confused with the legitimate online coin exchange service) and even has a snazzy logo. The malware authors tried to make the process as simple as possible for the victim. They must have found out that the average small business does not know what Bitcoins are, and how to get them. They went as far as adding a user-friendly button for copying the bitcoin wallet address and included a 24-hour countdown timer that lets you know how much time you have to pay the ransom until it doubles. Jeez, thanks!

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12 thoughts on “User Friendly Ransomware

  1. On a desktop and laptop-the malware, ransomware appears to have been removed or at the least is in dormancy? that can be scary

  2. The question I would like answered, is why can these ransom ware sites remain operating? Surely, in the 21st Century, there is a way to trace money so that these sites can be identified and shut down.

  3. I Microsoft brought out a windows that wasn’t constantly needing updates the OP could be place on a non writable memory chip
    any other data you use could then be stored safely

  4. we managed to get rid of cryptolocker when it first came out (over a year ago)on a clients system by using Sophos AV software don’t know if we lucky or not but no recurrence since.

  5. When will be able to fully lock down our computer from the Malware, Ransomware, Trojans, and viruses before they are all rendered useless. I am thinking more and more to going to a MAC.

  6. If you are too lazy to back up to an external drive and unplug.. then at least back up your sensitive files to something like Sky drive.. or some other cloud based system.. Of course.. NEVER keep details of your password or account name for this on your existing HDD.

  7. The question I haven't seen answered yet is:
    Will any(?), most(?), none(?) of the respected malware suites—assuming definitions are up to date, have "active (real-time) protection" switched on, and scan frequently—protect users against these intruders?
    What's the defense?

    • If you have an AV software that uses a “white list” you might have a chance. The virus’s change too quickly for the “black list” alone to work.

  8. I was clobbered by the baskets about 6 months ago. Fortunately I'm not a business, so I took my hard drive out and chucked it in the bin, got a new drive and started all over again. I WILL NOT REWARD THE MONGRELS.

    People—listen to me—-back up—back up—back up, on an external drive that is only ever connected for the purpose. Once the back up is complete, disconnect the drive until next time. An dedicated external drive will cost you less than a hundred bucks—what's the contents of your puter worth???

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