Crypto-Blackmail: Exploring the Different Faces of Cyber Attacks

Introduction Of ransomware?

Cybercriminals utilise malware, or harmful software, known as ransomware for cyber attacks. When ransomware infects a computer or network, it either locks the machine or encrypts the data on it. For the release of the data, cybercriminals demand ransom money from their victims. A vigilant eye and security software are advised to guard against ransomware infection.
Following an infection, Cyber attack victims have three options:
  • either they can pay the ransom.
  • attempt to delete the software.
  • restart the device.
Extortion Trojans usually employ the Remote Desktop Protocol, phishing emails, and software flaws as their attack vectors. Therefore, a ransomware attack can target both people and businesses.

Identifying ransomware – a Fundamental difference must be made.

Particularly two varieties of ransomware are extremely well-liked:

  • Ransomware  lockers. Malware of this kind disables fundamental computer operations. For instance, the desktop may be unavailable to you while the keyboard and mouse are only partially functional. This enables you to proceed with interacting with the window displaying the ransom demand so that you can send the money. Other than that, the computer is useless. The good news is that most locker malware only seeks to lock you out; it seldom targets important files. It is therefore improbable that your data will be completely destroyed.
  • Crypto-ransomware. Crypto ransomware’s objective is to encrypt your critical data, such as papers, images, and videos, but not to obstruct fundamental computer operations. Because people can see their files but not access them, this causes worry. Crypto developers frequently include a countdown in their ransom demand, such as, “All of your files will be deleted if the ransom is not paid by the deadline.” Crypto ransomware can have a disastrous effect since so many users are ignorant of the necessity for backups in the cloud or on external physical storage devices. As a result, many victims just pay the ransom to regain access to their files.

 

Locky, Petya and co.

You now understand what ransomware is and its two primary varieties. You will then discover several well-known cases that will enable you to recognize the risks that ransomware poses:

Locky.

In 2016, a group of professional hackers launched the first attack using the ransomware known as Locky. More than 160 different file formats were encrypted by Locky, which spread through bogus emails that contained malicious attachments. Users who were duped by the email trick had the ransomware installed on their systems. Phishing, a type of social engineering, is the term for this method of propagation. File types that are often used by designers, developers, engineers, and testers are the target of the Locky ransomware.

WannaCry ransomware.

In 2017, the ransomware assault known as WannaCry affected more than 150 nations. It was built to take advantage of a security flaw in Windows that the NSA created and the Shadow Brokers hacker collective disclosed. 230,000 machines were impacted by WannaCry worldwide.Cyber Security One-third of all NHS hospitals in the UK were affected by the attack, which resulted in estimated damages of 92 million pounds. Users were locked out, and a Bitcoin ransom was requested. Because the hacker took advantage of an operating system flaw for which a patch was already available at the time of the attack, the attack brought attention to the problem of obsolete systems. Around $4 billion in financial harm was inflicted by WannaCry on a global scale.

Bad Rabbit cyber attacks.

A ransomware campaign from 2017 named Bad Rabbit used drive-by attacks to spread. Attackers used vulnerable websites to conduct their operations. A consumer visits a legitimate website in a drive-by ransomware assault without realizing it has been infiltrated by hackers. All that is needed for the majority of drive-by attacks is for a person to access a page that has been compromised in this manner. However, in this instance, the infection was brought on by launching an installer that contained cloaked malware. An example of this is a malware dropper. By asking the user to launch a phony installation of Adobe Flash, Bad Rabbit infected the PC with malware.

Ryuk cyber Attacks.

The recovery feature of Windows operating systems was disabled by the encryption Trojan Ryuk, which began to propagate in August 2018. Without an external backup, this rendered it impossible to restore the encrypted data. Additionally, Ryuk encrypts network hard drives. The impact was significant, and many of the targeted US organizations paid the demanded ransom amounts. Over $640,000 worth of damage has reportedly been done.

Shade/Troldesh.

2015 saw the Shade or Troldesh ransomware assault, which was disseminated by spam emails with malicious links or file attachments. It’s interesting to note that the Troldesh perpetrators used email to contact their victims directly. Discounts were given to victims who they had established a “good relationship” with. This sort of action, though, is the exception rather than the rule.

Jigsaw cyber Attacks.

The ransomware assault known as Jigsaw started in 2016. The attack was named for the well-known puppet from the Saw film series that it showed. Jigsaw ransomware erased more files for every hour the ransom remained unpaid. The use of the graphic from a horror film made people feel more stressed.

Crypto-locker cyber Attacks.

The malware known as CryptoLocker spread through infected email attachments after it was discovered in 2007. On affected systems, the ransomware looked for and encrypted sensitive data. 500 000 PCs are thought to have been impacted. Eventually, a global network of compromised home computers used to disseminate CryptoLocker was taken down by law enforcement agencies and security firms. Since the criminals were unaware of this, the agencies and businesses were able to intercept the data being sent via the network. In the end, this led to the creation of an online portal where victims could acquire a key to unlock their data. This made it possible for their data to be released without the need to pay the perpetrators a ransom.

Petya.

Petya, a ransomware assault that took place in 2016 and reappeared as GoldenEye in 2017, should not be confused with ExPetr. This dangerous ransomware encrypted the victim’s whole hard drive rather than just a few selected files. This was accomplished by encrypting the Master File Table (MFT), which rendered hard-drive files inaccessible. Through a bogus application that featured a malicious Dropbox link, Petya ransomware propagated to corporate HR departments.
Petya 2.0 is a different variation of Petya that differs in some significant ways. However, both attacks are equally deadly for the gadget in terms of how they are executed.

GoldenEye Cyber Attacks.

In 2017, the reincarnation of Petya as GoldenEye led to a global ransomware attack. GoldenEye, dubbed the “deadly sibling” of WannaCry, struck over 2,000 targets, including several banks and important Russian oil firms. Alarmingly, Golden-eye locked the staff of the Chernobyl nuclear power facility out of their Windows PCs, forcing them to manually check the radiation level there.

GandCrab Cyber Attacks.

Unsavory ransomware known as GandCrab threatens to reveal its victims’ pornographic preferences. It sought a ransom and claimed to have hacked the victim’s webcam. If the ransom wasn’t paid, the victim’s humiliating video would be posted online. After making its debut in 2018, the GandCrab ransomware kept evolving in many forms. Security companies and law enforcement organizations created a ransomware decryption tool as part of the “No More Ransom” initiative to assist victims in recovering their crucial data from GandCrab.

B0r0nt0k Cyber Attacks.

B0r0nt0k is a type of crypto ransomware that targets servers with Windows and Linux operating systems. The data on a Linux server are encrypted by this dangerous ransomware, which adds the “.rontok” file extension. In addition to posing a threat to files, the malware also modifies starting preferences, turns off features and apps, and adds registry entries, files, and programs.

Dharma Brrr ransomware.

The new Dharma ransomware, known as Brrr, is manually deployed by hackers who then break into desktop services that are online. The moment the hacker activates the ransomware, it starts to encrypt any files it detects. The file extension for encrypted data is “.id-[id].[email].brrr”.

FAIR RANSOMWARE

Data encryption is the goal of the ransomware known as FAIR. All of the victim’s private files and documents are encrypted using a strong algorithm. The malware adds the “.FAIR RANSOMWARE” file extension to files that have been encrypted.

MADO Cyber Attacks.

Another variety of crypto ransomware is MADO. The file extension “.mado” is used to indicate that data that has been encrypted by this ransomware can no longer be opened.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks people from various walks of life, as was already mentioned. The typical ransom demand ranges from $100 to $200. However, certain corporate attacks demand much more, particularly if the attacker is aware that the data being blocked would cause the targeted organization to suffer a large financial loss. Cybercriminals can thus earn enormous sums of money by employing these techniques. The victim of the cyberattack is or was more significant in the following two instances than the kind of ransomware that was employed.

WordPress ransomware.

As its name implies, WordPress ransomware targets the files on WordPress websites. As is common with ransomware, the victim is blackmailed into paying the ransom. Ransomware attacks by cybercriminals are more likely to occur on WordPress sites that are more popular.

The Wolverine case.

In September 2018, ransomware targeted Wolverine Solutions Group, a healthcare provider. Many of the company’s files were encrypted by the spyware, making it hard for many employees to access them. On October 3, forensics specialists successfully decrypted and recovered the data. However, the attack exposed a lot of patient data. Cybercriminals may have obtained names, addresses, medical information, and other personal information.

Ransomware as a Service.

Cybercriminals with limited technical skills now have the ability to conduct ransomware attacks thanks to ransomware as a service. Because the malware is made available to customers, there is less danger and more profit for the software developers.

Conclusion

Attacks using ransomware can take on a variety of forms and dimensions. The attack vector has a significant impact on the kinds of ransomware that are employed. Always keep in mind what is at risk or what data could be erased or made public when estimating the scale and scope of the attack. Regardless of the ransomware kind, properly using security tools and storing up data beforehand can dramatically lessen the severity of an attack.

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