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Using Blatant Code, a New Nokoyawa Variant Sneaks up on Peers

 

Nokoyawa is a new malware for Windows that first appeared early this year. The first samples gathered by FortiGuard researchers were constructed in February 2022 and contain significant coding similarities with Karma ransomware that can be traced back to Nemty via a long series of variants. 

NOKOYAWA is a ransomware-type piece of malware that the research team discovered and sampled from VirusTotal. It's made to encrypt data and then demands payment to decode it. 

FortiGuard Labs has seen versions constructed to run only on 64-bit Windows, unlike its precursor Karma, which runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. For customized executions, Nokoyawa provides many command-line options: help, network, document, and Encrypt a single file using the path and dir dirPath. 

Nokoyawa encrypts all local disks and volumes by default if no argument is provided. The "-help" argument is intriguing because it shows that the ransomware creators and the operators who deploy and execute the malware on affected PCs are two independent teams. Nokoyawa encrypts files that do not end in.exe,.dll, or.lnk extensions using multiple threads for speed and efficiency. Furthermore, by verifying the hash of its names with a list of hardcoded hashes, some folders, and their subdirectories are prohibited from encryption.

Nokoyawa produces a fresh ephemeral keypair (victim file keys) for each file before encrypting it. A 64-byte shared secret is produced with Elliptic-Curve Diffie-Hellmann using the victim file's private key and the threat actors' "master" public key (ECDH). For encrypting the contents of each file, the first 32 bytes of this secret key are used as a Salsa20 key, together with the hardcoded nonce 'lvcelvce.' 

RURansom, A1tft, Kashima, and pEaKyBlNdEr are just a few of the ransomware programs that have been looked into. The encryption algorithms they utilize (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size are two key variations between malicious applications of this type. The magnitude of the requested sum can vary dramatically depending on the intended victim. 

How does ransomware get into my system? 

The majority of the additional code was taken exactly from publicly available sources, including the source of the now-defunct Babuk ransomware leaked in September 2021, according to FortiGuard Labs experts. 

Malware including ransomware is spread using phishing and social engineering techniques. Malicious software is frequently disguised as or integrated with legitimate files. 

The email addresses were eliminated and were replaced with directions to contact the ransomware authors using a TOR browser and a.onion URL. When you're at the Onion URL, you'll be taken to a page with an online chatbox where you can chat with the operators, negotiate and pay the ransom. 

Researchers from FortiGuard Labs detected a dialogue between a potential victim and the ransomware operator. The threat actors offer free decryption of up to three files based on this chat history to demonstrate that they can decrypt the victim's files.

The ransom amount, in this case, a whopping 1,500,000 (likely in USD), is displayed on the "Instructions" page and can be paid in either BTC (Bitcoin) or XMR(Monero). The operators claim to deliver the tool to decrypt the victim's files after payment.

Given the rising professionalism of certain ransomware efforts, this TOR website could be an attempt to better "branding" or a technique to delegate ransom discussions to a separate team. Surprisingly, the ransom note contains the following content. "Contact us to strike a deal or we'll publish your black s**t to the media," the message says, implying that the victim's data was stolen during the infection.

Drive-by (stealthy and deceptive) downloads, spam email (malicious files attached to or compromised websites linked in emails/messages), untrustworthy download channels (e.g., peer-to-peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware sites, etc.), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, online scams, and fake updates are among the most common distribution methods. 

How can we defend from ransomware?

It is strongly advised you only use legitimate and trusted download sources. Furthermore, all apps must be activated and updated through tools given by genuine providers, as third-party tools may infect the system. 

Experts also recommend against opening attachments or links received in questionable emails or messages, as they may contain malware. It is critical to install and maintain a reliable anti-virus program. 

Regular system scans and threats/issues must be removed using security software. If the machine has already been infected with NOKOYAWA, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically remove it.

Costa Rica's New Government is Under Attack by a Conti Ransomware Gang

 

The Conti ransomware organization, which has hacked some Costa Rican government computer systems, has increased its threat, claiming that its ultimate goal is to overthrow the government. The Russian-speaking Conti gang tried to intensify the pressure to pay a ransom by boosting its demand to $20 million, perhaps capitalizing on the fact that President Rodrigo Chaves had just been in office for a week. 

"We are aiming to overthrow the government by a cyber attack, and we have already demonstrated all of our strength and power," the group stated on its official website. "In your government, we have insiders. We're also attempting to obtain access to your other systems, and you have no choice but to pay us." Chaves said the organization had infiltrated up to 27 institutions at various levels of government, declaring that the country was "at war" with the Conti ransomware gang but giving no indication that the ransom would be paid. 

"I appeal to every Costa Rican to go to your government and organize rallies to demand that they pay us as soon as possible if your existing government is unable to fix the situation?" A different statement on Conti's dark web page stated, "Perhaps it's worth replacing." Over the weekend, the ransomware issued a warning that it will remove the decryption keys in a week, making it impossible for Costa Rica to restore access to the ransomware-encrypted files. 

The lethal April 19 attack prompted the new administration to proclaim a state of emergency, and the gang has exposed troves of data acquired from infected systems before encryption. Conti linked the attack to an affiliate actor nicknamed "UNC1756," a play on the name given to uncategorized threat groups by threat intelligence firm Mandiant. 

If it was any other ransomware gang, according to Aaron Turner, vice president of SaaS posture at Vectra, an AI cybersecurity firm, the threat would be unnoticeable. "However, because it's Conti, and Conti has publicly connected themselves with Putin's Russia's military activities, this threat should demand a second look," he said. 

He believes that if the US supports 'enemy' troops in Russia's neighborhood, there is a strong urge for retaliation. "Fortunately for Costa Rica, Conti isn't the most sophisticated gang of ransomware operators," he said. "Costa Rica is also lucky in that Russia's invasion of Ukraine went so badly that there are likely inadequate military forces on the other side of the planet to launch a combined cyberattack and conventional strike." While the prospect of overthrow is intriguing from an academic standpoint, Turner believes the chances of Conti orchestrating a coup are extremely remote. 

Affiliates are hacker organizations that rent access to pre-developed ransomware tools to coordinate assaults on corporate networks as part of the so-called ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gig economy, and then share the profits with the operators. Conti has continued to target companies all over the world after suffering a large data breach of its own earlier this year amid its public support for Russia in its current war against Ukraine. 

Conti is the "most prolific ransomware-associated cybercriminal activity organization operational today," according to Microsoft's security team, which records the cybercriminal gang under the cluster DEV-0193. "DEV-0193 has hired developers from other malware operations that have shut down for varied reasons, including legal actions. The addition of developers from Emotet, Qakbot, and IcedID to the DEV-0193 umbrella is very noteworthy." 

Conti is one of the most wanted cybercriminal gangs in the world, with the US State Department offering up to $10 million in incentives for any information leading to the identity of its senior members.

Spanish FA Reported a Cyber Attack, Private Texts Seized

 

Police have been informed that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has witnessed a cyber attack. In recent months, top leaders of the union, particularly president Luis Rubiales, have had documents and information from private email accounts, private texts, and audio calls taken.

Headquartered in Las Rozas, La Ciudad del Ftbol, a community near Madrid, the Royal Spanish Football Federation is Spain's football regulating organization. The Spanish FA won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and two European Championships in a row as a result of these events. 

"It's likely this personally identifiable information, taken unlawfully and with clear criminal purpose, was provided to numerous media," the RFEF added. 

Before the publishing of the information, an unnamed journalist informed the RFEF claiming its media outlet had been provided access to illegally acquired material from an unknown source who communicated over an encrypted voice. 

"Through third parties, the media outlet in issue claimed to have obtained confidential contracts, private WhatsApp conversations, emails, and a variety of documents involving the RFEF management," the journalist told. "If accurate, it would be a crime of secret revelation and a breach of the people attacked's fundamental rights." 

The Spanish FA has condemned such "criminal and mafia" acts to all relevant organizations, as well as appointed a private firm to improve security and prevent future attacks.

Cyberattacks, like hacktivists, can be linked to cyber warfare or cyberterrorism. To put it another way, motivations can differ. And there are three basic types of motivations: criminal, political, and personal. Money theft, data theft, and company disruption are all options for criminally minded attackers.

Data Stolen From Parker Hannifin was Leaked by the Conti Gang

 

Several gigabytes of data allegedly taken from US industrial components major Parker Hannifin have been leaked by a known Conti gang. Parker Hannifin is a motion and control technology business which specializes in precision-built solutions for the aerospace, mobile, and industrial industries. 

The Fortune 250 business said in a legal statement on Tuesday, the compromise of its systems was discovered on March 14. Parker shut down several systems and initiated an inquiry after detecting the incident. Law enforcement has been alerted, and cybersecurity and legal specialists have been summoned to help. Although the investigation is ongoing, the company announced some data, including employee personal information, was accessed and taken. 

"Relying on the Company's early evaluation and currently available information, the incident has had no major financial or operational impact, and the Company does not think the incident will have a significant impact on its company, operations, or financial results," Parker stated. "The Company's business processes are fully operating, and it retains insurance, subject to penalties and policy limitations customary of its size and industry." 

While the company has not shared any additional details regarding the incident, cybersecurity experts have learned the infamous Conti gang has taken credit for the Parker breach. More than 5 GB of archive files supposedly comprising papers stolen from Parker have been leaked by the hacker group. However, this could only be a small percentage of the data they've obtained; as per the Conti website, only 3% of the data theft has been made public. Usually, hackers inform victims they must pay millions of dollars to restore encrypted files and avoid stolen information from being leaked. 

Conti ransomware is a very destructive malicious actor because of how quickly it encrypts data and transfers it to other computers. To gain remote access to the affected PCs, the organization is using phishing attempts to deploy the TrickBot and BazarLoader Trojans. The cyber-crime operation is said to be led by a Russian gang operating under the Wizard Spider moniker and members of Conti came out in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Conti data, such as malicious source code, chat logs, identities, email addresses, and C&C server details, have been disclosed by someone pretending to be a Ukrainian cybersecurity researcher. Conti works like any other business, with contractors, workers, and HR issues, as revealed by the released documents. Conti spent about $6 million on staff salaries, tools, and professional services in the previous year, according to a review conducted by crisis response firm BreachQuest.

Conti and other ransomware organizations continue to pose a threat to businesses and ordinary services, and measures should be taken to help prevent a severe cyberattack.

Customers  Threatened by a Data Breach at Hong Kong's Harbour Plaza Hotel

 

Hong Kong's privacy authority is looking into a hack against the Harbour Plaza hotel company, which revealed more than 1.2 million visitors' booking information. The investigation's goal is to learn more about what kind of private details were compromised. Customers have been warned to keep an eye out for any strange activity in their accounts and to be aware of any unexpected emails, calls, or messages in the meantime. 

"The impacted data was the information of visitors who remained within these hotels," the PCPD tells ISMG. "As the investigations into the cyberattack are ongoing," the PCPD told ISMG, declining to specify the type of hack, the threat actor involved, or the data compromised. 

According to Harbour Plaza's statement, the Hong Kong Police was also notified along with certain other relevant authorities. The company has hired an undisclosed third-party cybersecurity forensics agency to investigate and control the problem, as well as improve its security perimeter in the future. 

According to the company's FAQs about the data leak, those who are affected will be alerted. Customers should be "extra cautious against scamming or other attempted schemes," according to the hotel firm, which says "lodging reservation databases" were impacted. It indicates possible information such as a customer's name, email address, phone number, reservation, and stay details may have been hacked. 

Inquiry into the data leak at online retailer HKTVmall 

Separately, the PCPD is looking into a case involving HKTVmall, a well-known shopping and entertainment platform run by Hong Kong Technology Venture Co. Ltd. 

The security breach has endangered the personal details of a "small fraction" of HKTV Co. Ltd.'s 4.38 million registered customers, according to a statement made on Feb. 4. According to the notice, the connected server was in an "other Asian" country. 

According to the company, it promptly notified the Hong Kong Police or the PCPD, and hired two cybercrime firms on January 27 "to conduct an investigation and further enhance HKTVmall's server security measures." 

Customer data that may have been obtained by an unauthorized person, according to HKTVmall, includes:

  • Account names which have been registered.
  • Login passwords which are encrypted and masked.
  • Email addresses which have been registered and that can be contacted. 
  • Names of recipients, shipping addresses, and contact numbers for orders placed between December 2014 and September 2018.
  • Clients who have connected their HKTVmall account to a Facebook account or an Apple ID have the date of birth, official name, and email accounts for Facebook accounts and Apple IDs.

Iranian Hackers Employs PowerShell Backdoor to Bypass Security Products

 

Security researchers from Cybereason have discovered that an advanced persistent threat organization with inbounds links to Iran has modified its malware toolset to incorporate a unique PowerShell-based implant named PowerLess Backdoor. 

The Boston-headquartered cybersecurity firm identified a new toolkit used by the Phosphorus group, also known as Charming Kitten and APT35, that installs malicious Microsoft PowerShell code to operate as a remote access backdoor to download further malware payloads.

"The PowerShell code runs in the context of a .NET application, thus not launching 'powershell.exe' which enables it to evade security products," Daniel Frank, a senior malware researcher at Cybereason, explained. "The toolset analyzed includes extremely modular, multi-staged malware that decrypts and deploys additional payloads in several stages for the sake of both stealth and efficacy." 

The hacking group that was first identified in 2017, has employed many attacks in recent years, including ones in which the adversary pretended to be journalists or academicians to trick targets into downloading malware and collecting confidential material. 

Last month, Check Point Research disclosed specifics of an espionage operation that concerned the hacking team abusing the Log4Shell vulnerabilities to install a modular backdoor dubbed CharmPower for follow-on attacks. 

Cybereason discovered that the latest additions to its arsenal form an entirely new toolset that includes the PowerLess Backdoor, which can download and run other modules like a browser info-stealer and a keylogger. Also potentially linked to the same developer of the backdoor are a number of other malware artifacts, counting an audio recorder, an earlier variant of the information stealer, and what the researchers suspect to be an unfinished ransomware variant coded in .NET. 

Additionally, infrastructure overlaps have been noticed between the Phosphorus group and a new ransomware strain named Memento, which initially emerged in November 2021 and took the unusual step of locking files into password-protected archives, then encrypting the password and erasing the original files after their attempts to encrypt the data directly were stopped by endpoint protection. 

"The activity of Phosphorus with regard to ProxyShell took place in about the same time frame as Memento. Iranian threat actors were also reported to be turning to ransomware during that period, which strengthens the hypothesis that Memento is operated by an Iranian threat actor,” Frank added.

The Medical Review Institute of America Alerts Patients of a Privacy Breach

 

On November 9, 2021, MRIoA discovered that it had been the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack that affected over 134,000 people, according to a data breach notification filed by the Maine Attorney General's Office. Following the realization of the security incident, the institution set forth to protect and restore the organization's systems and operations. MRIoA also promptly enlisted the assistance of third-party forensic and incident response experts to conduct a thorough investigation into the nature and scope of the problem, as well as sought assistance with remediation efforts. The incident was further reported to the FBI as well. 

According to MRIoA, which discovered the incident on November 12, 2021, the security incident primarily involved the unauthorized gathering of information; MRIoA retrieved and validated the deletion of the received information to the best of its abilities and knowledge on November 16, 2021. 

The HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) and associated standards/regulations, such as HIPAA, HITECH, and state data and privacy legislation, are incorporated into MRIoA's privacy and security program, according to the company's conditions. MRIoA enforces tight access controls, including privileged access, file integrity monitoring, input validation, and complete audit logging, and protects data confidentiality by encrypting data at rest with AES-256 and data in transit using TLS1.2. 

"We place a high importance on the security and privacy of the information stored on our systems, and we were astonished and disheartened to learn that we were one of the thousands of victims of this type of cyberattack," MRIoA's CEO, Ron Sullivan said. 

Meanwhile, as iterated below, additional cybersecurity precautions were installed and are being deployed to MRIoA's existing infrastructure to better limit the possibility of this type of event occurring again. 

  • Continuous threat hunting and detection software monitoring of their systems.
  • When attempting to access the systems, add extra multifactor authentication protections.
  • To ensure that all threat remains were eradicated, new servers were constructed from the ground up. Working with outside cybersecurity specialists to help them with their security initiatives.
  • Creating a new and hardened backup environment; enhancing their cybersecurity training for employees.

As MRIoA reviews, rewrites, and amends their existing cybersecurity rules in the wake of the attack, they suggest individuals report any fraudulent conduct to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, such as their state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
 
Affected individuals are being offered free credit monitoring and identity protection services by the MRIoA. Further, individuals who want to sign up for the free credit monitoring service must do so within 90 days of getting their MRIoA notice letter. 

Unable to Encrypt Files, the Latest Memento Ransomware Resorts to Using WinRAR

 

Following the discovery of its encryption method via security tools, a new ransomware organization known as Memento took the unique strategy of encrypting files within password-protected directories. The group began operating last month, gaining initial access into victims' networks by abusing a VMware vCenter Server web client flaw. 

CVE-2021-21971 has been assigned to the vCenter bug. Anybody with remote access to TCP/IP port 443 on an unsecured vCenter server could execute admin commands upon that underlying OS. Despite the fact that a solution to this issue was provided in February, many businesses have still yet to update their installations. 

Memento has been leveraging this flaw since April, and a different actor was discovered exploiting it in May to install XMR miners via PowerShell commands. 

Memento commenced its ransomware operations last month by harvesting administrator credentials from the targeted system via vCenter, creating persistence via planned activities, and afterward spreading laterally across the network via RDP via SSH. Throughout the reconnaissance phase, the actors utilized WinRAR to create and exfiltrate a file archive containing the stolen files. 

Ultimately, they used Jetico's BCWipe data cleaning application to eliminate any leftover traces before encrypting the data employing AES using a Python-based ransomware strain. 

Nevertheless, because the PCs lacked anti-ransomware security, Memento's initial attempts to encrypt information were detected and halted even before the damage had been done. 

Memento found a revolutionary approach to avoid identification by security software of inexpensive ransomware: completely bypass encryption and move files into password-protected archives. To accomplish this, the group compresses files in WinRAR archives, generates a complex yet strong password for access security, encodes the key, and afterward deletes the original files. 

According to Sophos analyst Sean Gallagher, the "crypt" method now saves each document in an archive using a.vaultz file extension rather than encrypting the data. Passwords were created as each file was archived. The passwords were then encoded. 

As per the ransom note, the victim must pay 15.95 BTC ($940,000) for the entire recovery or 0.099 BTC ($5,850) per file. 

In the situations reviewed by Sophos, such extortion attempts won't result in a ransom payment as victims utilized existing backups to recover the data. Memento, on the other hand, is a new organization that has lately discovered a successful novel strategy. As a result, they'll almost certainly put it to the test against other organizations.

JSWorm: A Notorious Ransomware

 

The ransomware threat environment has been shifting over the last few years. Following the major ransomware outbreaks of 2017, such as WannaCry, NotPetya, and Bad Rabbit, many ransomware actors have switched to the covert yet the lucrative strategy of "big-game hunting." The news of ransomware triggering a service interruption at a multinational enterprise has become commonplace. 

Since the discovery of JSWorm ransomware in 2019, numerous variants have gained popularity under various names such as Nemty, Nefilim, Offwhite, and others. As part of each “rebranded” edition, several versions were released that changed various aspects of the code, renamed file extensions, cryptographic schemes, and encryption keys. 

JSWorm is a ransomware variant of the GusCrypter malware family. Its purpose is to extort money from victims by encrypting all personal data and requesting a ransom for the decryption key. It's a member of the GusCrypter clan. JSWorm is typically transmitted via spam email attachments. 

The malware also leaves a ransom note, JSWORM-DECRYPT.html, instructing victims to contact criminals via the NIGER1253@COCK.LI email address if they want their data back. Since JSWorm belongs to a well-known ransomware family, it's possible that the encryption will be permanent. 

Although JSWorm ransomware does not encrypt system files, it does modify your system in other ways. As a result of the altered Windows Registry values, ransomware is launched every time the user restarts the device. These modifications, however, are made after the encryption and ransom demand have been completed. 

JSWorm was available as a public RaaS from its inception in 2019 until the first half of 2020, and it was observed spreading through the RIG exploit kit, the Trik botnet, fake payment websites, and spam campaigns. The public RaaS was closed in the first half of 2020, and the operators turned to big-game hunting. An initial intrusion was discovered thanks to the use of weak server-side applications (Citrix ADC) and insecure RDP access. 

The files are encrypted with a 256-bit key using a custom modification of the Blowfish cypher. The key is generated by concatenating the strings user name, system MAC address, and volume serial number at the start of the programme execution. The content of each of the victim's files is encrypted using a custom version of Blowfish. The encryption is limited to 100,000 bytes, most likely to speed up the encryption of large files. The initial data is overwritten by the encrypted data.

LockBit Ransomware Emerging as a Dangerous Threat to Corporate Networks


LockBit, a relatively new Ransomware that was first identified performing targeted attacks by Northwave Security in September 2019 veiled as.ABCD virus. The threat actors behind the ransomware were observed to be leveraging brute-force tactics and evasion-based techniques to infect computers and encrypt files until the victim pays the ransom.

LockBit enables attackers to move around a network after compromising it quickly; it exploits SMB, ARP tables, and PowerShell to proliferate the malware through an infected network.

The developers rely on third parties to spread the malware via any means the third party devises. After successfully infecting the network, the attacker redirects the victim to a payment site operated by them. The victim is then subjected to threats of data leak until the ransom is paid to the attackers.

Modus operandi of the attack

The attackers drop the payload that is hidden under the '.text' sections, evading conventional AV's mechanism from catching the file while running a scan in the disk, the file is compressed by the attackers with a unique format.

Upon being executed, the file runs a scan on the entire LAN network and attempts to establish a connection to the hosts via SMB port (445) to spread the infected file across the entire internal network.

Then in order to bypass the need for User Control, the command "C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\DllHost.exe /Processid:{3E5FC7F9-9A51-4367-9063-A120244FBEC7}" is run by an instance of SVCHOST.exe which is running by the process DLLhost.exe.

After that, the 'backup.exe' file executes the payload and encrypts most of the victim's files, changing their extensions to 'lockbit'. In the end, leaving a ransom note under the name 'Restore-My-Files.txt' in various folders on the host.

As per sources, the top targets of LockBit were located in the U.S., the U.K, China, India, Germany, France, and Indonesia. Experts suggest that users worldwide should strengthen their security defenses. It is also recommended to store the backups of important files separately so that it's hard to be accessed through a network.

Giving insights into a particular case, Patrick Van Looy, a cybersecurity specialist for Northwave, told BleepingComputer, "In this specific case it was a classic hit and run. After gaining access through brute-forcing the VPN, the attacker almost immediately launched the ransomware (which he could with the administrator account that he had access to). It was around 1:00 AM that the initial access took place, after which the ransomware was launched, and at around 4:00 AM the attacker logged off. This was the only interaction that we have observed."

Emotet Botnet Operators Switching to a New Template Named ‘Red Dawn’


Emotet malware has been continually evolving to the levels of technically sophisticated malware that has a major role in the expansion of the cybercrime ecosystem. First discovered as a simple banking Trojan, Emotet’s roots date back to 2014 when it attempted to steal banking credentials from affected machines.

However, after going through multiple upgrades, since then, it has taken upon various roles- to exemplify, it has leveled up its threat game long ago to become a “loader”; it gathers data and sends it via an encrypted channel to its command and control (C2) servers, it also downloads modules to further the functionality.

The threat actors, actively involved in the rapid expansion of “Emotet” as a service, have devised a new method of attacking their targets by making them access infected documents. Until a while ago, the operators of Emotet have been using an iOS-themed document template in their botnet campaigns, the template informed victims that the document was created on iOS and that in order to view the content properly, he needs to ‘Enable Content’.

However, this is not the scenario anymore. In its newer campaigns, the notorious botnet is reported to be employing a new template, named ‘Red Dawn’ by Emotet expert, Joseph Roosen, for its red accent colors.

While displaying the message, “This document is protected”, the Red Dawn template informs the user that the preview is unavailable and in order to view the document, he is required to click on ‘Enable Content’ or ‘Enable Editing’ button.

After the user is being tricked into accessing the document via the steps he was asked to follow, Emotet malware gets installed on his system following the execution of macros. Once the system is successfully infected, Emotet malware may proceed to deliver other malware and ransomware namely Trickbot and Qbot or Conti and ProLock respectively.

“#Emotet AAR for 2020/09/02: Only a couple malspams at dayjob. It looks like JP is getting targeted heavily now by E1/E2 and E3. Seeing templates on all 3! The new regex for E1 is stupid and I bet Yuri thought that was epic, well nope, even easier to block, new regex in report. TT”, Joseph Roosen said in his related Tweet.

Lucy: A File Encryption Android Malware that for Ransomware Operations


A malware that attacks Android smartphones has increased its Maas (malware-as-a-service) operations with file encryption capabilities to carry out ransomware attacks.


The malware, according to cybersecurity experts, is called "Lucy." The Lucy gang is a group of Russian hackers who became famous two years ago by launching the Black Rose Lucy service, a malware that allowed Botnet attacks on android smartphones.

According to Checkpoint Research, "Because the Android accessibility service can mimic a user's on-screen click, this is the crucial element for Black Rose to carry out malicious activities. Once the accessibility service is enabled, Black Rose can quickly shuffle through screens to grant itself device admin privileges." 

The Lucy service allows its users to attach files on vulnerable devices, which ask for $500 as a ransom in the browser window. The message says that it comes from the FBI, and the user must pay the ransom because he is found guilty of storing adult content on his android smartphone.

The FBI note here aims to frighten the victims into paying the ransom to hackers. The hackers demanding payment from their victims based on legal consequences is blackmail, as it is entirely unethical. The victims are blackmailed for storing pornographic content and visiting adult websites.

To make the ransom more serious and believing, the hackers say that they have the victim's photograph and location, which they have posted on the FBI's criminal investigation website. The ransom should be paid within three days of the notification, if not, the penalty triples, says the message warning.


It may sound strange, but the hackers don't demand cryptocurrency payments. Instead, they ask for credit card credentials, which is odd because, in most of the cases, the ransom is asked in terms of cryptocurrency as it is easy to cash in.

According to Check Point Research's 2010 data, "The Black Rose dropper family samples we acquired disguise either as an Android system upgrade or image files. Samples primarily leverage Android's accessibility service to install their payload without any user interaction and forge an interesting self-protection mechanism.

L4NC34 Ransomware Teaches That Ransomware Attacks Ought To Never Be Trifled With




There is no denying the fact that whenever the word ransomware is mentioned computers are an instinctive afterthought to have been largely infected by the same. The impact is without a doubt an extremely serious one and so it always escapes our notice that it’s the websites also that are touched upon by this impact.

While Ransomware is normally thought to be a method wherein files are encrypted in a super-perplexing way, alongside a ransom note asking hundreds to thousands of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency.

Typically this is kind of the reality — however, attackers aren't very similar to each other and not all may have the technical ability or would even attempt to go to such lengths.

Thus as of late, there was a case where the entire website files were apparently encrypted and had their file names changed to affix a ".crypt".

Among the files, we additionally found the ransom note one might usually discover in this type of malware, but this one was somewhat unusual — it wasn't an HTML or a .txt file. Rather, the ransom note was actually located inside a PHP file and appeared to contain actual capacities.

Here is a more critical look at the file.



The code of the malicious PHP file is as follows:

'.base64_decode('PHRpdGxlPkw0TkMzNCBSYW5zb213YXJlPC90aXRsZT4KPGx[pbmsgcmVj[REDACTED BASE64 CODE]dCBNYWlsIDogbDRuYzM0MEBnbWFpbC5jb20=').'

At first glance, nothing looks particularly surprising here, when decoded the result is:

L4NC34 Ransomware "; } function decdir($dir){ $files = array_diff(scandir($dir), array('.', '..')); foreach($files as $file) { if(is_dir($dir."/".$file)){ decdir($dir."/".$file); }else { decfile($dir."/".$file); } } } decdir($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']); echo "
Webroot Decrypted
"; unlink($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']); unlink('.htaccess'); copy('htabackup','.htaccess'); echo 'Success !!!'; } else { echo 'Failed Password !!!'; } exit(); } ?>

L4NC34 ransomware


Your Website Is Encrypted

Don't Change the Filename because it Can Damage the File If You Want to Return You Must Enter the Password First
Send Me $10 For Back Your Website

Bitcoin Address :


Contact Mail: l4nc340@gmail.com

Now the portions of code responsible for displaying the ransom note, along with the actual decryption process for the files are very clearly visible.

However, this code contains a few specific characteristics that are worth noting.

$input = $_POST['pass']; $pass = "9c6679accb84e3ef938b1f4c24158355"; if(isset($input)) { if(md5($input) == $pass) {


This 'snippet' basically verifies if the password inputted on the page coordinates the hardcoded md5 hash. That appears to be somewhat odd; one may expect that the alleged key was not hardcoded — yet if so, at that point there might be a purpose behind these apparently encrypted files.

This next bit is answerable for the ransomware's file decryption function:

function decfile($filename){ if (strpos($filename, '.crypt') === FALSE) { return; } $decrypted = gzinflate(file_get_contents($filename)); file_put_contents(str_replace('.crypt', '', $filename), $decrypted); unlink('crypt.php'); unlink('.htaccess'); unlink($filename); echo "$filename Decrypted !!!
";


While there really isn’t anything special or very complex about it. The decryption process just seems to take into account the actual contents of the file and then gzinflate them.

From what is clearly evident here, it’s safe to assume that the only way this hacker “encrypted” the files was to gzdeflate the files and change their file name.

This is what one of the encrypted files looked like:



Backing up to the original ransom note/script and modifying it to execute the decryption function without affecting anything else.

We can go ahead and run it either through a terminal or through the browser directly. And when done so with the following command:

$php ransom.php
Webroot Decrypted
Success !!!


What’s visible is the decrypted contents of the previous file, which look as expected.



Well, thankfully the ransomware encryption was easily and quickly reverted without paying the $10 fee.

But the question that still stands strong is that since it’s so easy to reverse this infection, ‘Did someone ever even end up paying the attacker?’

The answer to which can be found if we take a look at the bitcoin wallet address



Fortunately, it appears that there were no transactions on this wallet. Ideally, that implies that none of the infected sites wound up paying the ransom and had the option to return the malignant file without issues.

In any case, this being observed the Ransomware attacks ought to never be trifled with as in the United States alone, potential expenses surpassed $7.5 billion in 2019. What's more, much like other ransom included crimes, but still, there's no guarantee that paying a ransom will end in a positive result.

New Malicious Program 'Nefilim' Threatens to Release Stolen User Data


Nefilim, a new malicious program that basically is ransomware that functions by encrypting files on affected systems, has become active in the cyber ecosystem since February 2020. After encryption of the files, it demands a ransom from the victims for the decryption of files, tools, and software. However, it is still unclear how the ransomware is being spread, sources reckon that it's distributed via susceptible Remote Desktop Services.

As per the head of SentinelLabs, Vitali Krimez and Michael Gillespie from ID Ransomware, the code employed in Nefilim resembles much that of Nemty's, another file-encrypting ransomware that steals user data by restricting access to documents and multimedia using the AES-256 algorithm. As to the speculations of security researchers, it is likely that the authors of the first ransomware have a role to play in Nefilim's creation and distribution. However, due to the uncertainty revolving around the operation source of the new ransomware, experts also point towards a possibility of the source code being somehow obtained by the new malicious actors to develop a new variant.

While the encryption is underway, all the affected files are added with ".NEFILIM" extension. For instance, a file previously named "xyz.png" would start appearing as "xyz.png.NEFILIM" after the encryption takes place. The completion of the process is followed by a ransom note being created on the infected user's desktop titled "NEFILIM-DECRYPT.txt", "A large amount of your private files have been extracted and is kept in a secure location. If you do not contact us in seven working days of the breach we will start leaking the data. After you contact us we will provide you proof that your files have been extracted." the note reads.

As per the sources, for money matters, Nefilim primarily pins its hopes on email communications instead of a Tor payment site after the removal of the Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) component and it stands out as one major difference. According to the analysis carried out by Gillespie, it has been made clear that as of now there exists no way to retrieve files without paying the ransom because the ransomware is reported to be completely secure. As a result of that, victims are being threatened to pay the demanded amount within a week or else the data stolen will be exposed by the attackers.

Alert! The Days of WhatsApp Are Gone? Stronger Competitor In The Market!


Joy all around for the social media fanatics who had gotten quite bored of WhatsApp being their only source of incessant chatting provisions. And to those as well who felt unsafe because of the recent spyware that hit the beloved social media chat application.

The word around is that a recently surfaced social media chat application could give strong competition to the Facebook-owned social media service.

The users were already quite disconcerted about the recent cyber threat that hit WhatsApp and were in desperate need of any substitute to satisfy their daily social cravings.

The celebrated application goes by the name of “Signal”. Its unique characteristic is its keen focus on the privacy of the users.

Per sources, Signal has planned out to move towards the big market and go “main-stream”, owing it to the substantial monetary support it received from WhatsApp’s co-founder.

The financial backing is to facilitate “Signal” in getting better features and attracting the attention of people who are sort of done with using WhatsApp and are in want of other options, for whatever reasons.

Reports mention that the launcher of ‘Signal’ had continually been working on getting everyone access to encrypted communications without much fuss.

Now it finally is time for Signal to enter the world it was originally created for in the first place. It is a revolutionized effort at forming a more secure cyber-space for the people.

With key agendas like privacy and cyber-security being the central constituents of Signal, the application is sure to win a lot of hearts.

In recent times WhatsApp has been all over the place because of the alleged cyber threats, like spyware, it has been leaving its users open to. Because of which people’s trust over it has been withering gradually.

Per valid sources, Signal is special because it is encrypted from end-to-end. Its servers do not store any sort of “conversation metadata” on them. This especially was quite a hefty task for the developers to work their way around. They also had to work on enabling “group administration” to let people add and remove members without the servers’ knowledge. But they did it.

Hence, at a time like this, Signal is a very welcome blessing for social media fanatics who have become so used to social applications that they can’t imagine their lives without them.

Three Common Forms of Ransomware Infecting 1,800 businesses, Warns Dutch Govt



Around 1,800 companies are being affected by ransomware across the globe, according to a confidential report by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the Netherlands. The report does not specify the names of the affected organizations but indicates that the targeted are the big players from different industries including chemical, health, construction, food, entertainment, and automobile. Most of these companies deal with revenue streams of millions and billions.

In the recent past, ransomware attacks have been on a rise and are being widely publicized as well, but due to the rapid increase in the number of ransomware attacks, many of these go unnoticed and hence unreported. As a result, the number of affected companies as per the NCSC report is likely conservative. Reportedly, the affected organizations are on their own as they recuperate from the attack by either being forced to pay the ransom or resorting to untainted backups to restore files.

NCSC's report enlists three file-encrypting malware pieces namely LockerGoga, MegaCortex, and Ryuk that are to be blamed for the malware penetration, these pieces of malware use a similar digital infrastructure and are "common forms of ransomware." While drawing other inferences, NCSC reckons the utilization of zero-day vulnerabilities for the infection. The dependence upon the same digital infrastructure implies that the attackers setting-up the attacks transferred the threat onto the victim's network via a single network intruder.

Professionals in intruding corporate networks tend to find allies who are involved in ransomware dealings and being experts they are always inclined to spot the best amongst all for whom they gladly pay a lump sum amount of money as salaries on a monthly basis in turn for proficient penetration testers that can potentially travel via infected networks without being detected. Here, the level of access provided determines how high the prices can go up to.

Cybercriminals are not likely to stop spreading ransomware as long as there are victims who are paying the ransom as they have no other option to fall back on, NCSC strictly recommends that organizations strengthen their security net to avoid falling prey to ransomware attacks carried out every now and then these days. 

GetCrypt Ransomware: Modus Operandi and Solutions




A new ransomware is in the dark market which encrypts all the files on the device and redirects victims to the RIG exploit kit. It’s being installed via “Malvertising” campaigns.


Securoty researchers found it while it was being installed by way of a RIG exploit kit in the “Popcash malvertising" campaigns.

First the victim is redirected to a page hosting the exploit kit, and then the malicious scripts on it would try to exploit vulnerabilities on the device.

If all goes well it will download and install GetCrypt into Windows.

How GetCrypt Works
Reportedly, when the exploit kit executes the ransomware, GetCrypt checks if the Windows language is set to Russian, Ukranian, Kazakh or Belarusian.

If so the ransomware immediately terminates and no encryption happens. If not, the ransomware examines the CPUID of the computer.

The Id is used to create a 4 character string which is used as an extension for encrypted files.

The four character extension that was created is appended while the files are encrypted. The files’ names are changed after they are encrypted

Later on the Shadow Volume Copies are cleared by running the vssadmin.exedeleteshadows/all/quiet command.

Then, the ransomware starts to scan the computer for the files to encrypt. No particular files types are targeted, except for files located under the following folders:
·       :\$Recycle.Bin
·       :\ProgramData
·       :\Users\All Users
·       :\Program Files
·       :\Local Settings
·       :\Windows
·       :\Boot
·       :\System Volume Information
·       :\Recovery
·       AppData

According to the sources, GetCrypt makes use of the Salsa20 and RSA-4096 algorithms for encryptions.

GetCrypt also creates a ransom note in each folder while it encrypts the files, named #decrypt my files#.txt

The aforementioned ransom note commands the victim to contact getcrypt@cook.li for payment instructions.

GetCrypt would also change the victim’s desktop background to an image with the ransom note written all over it which is stored at %LocalAppData%\Tempdesk.bmp

In addition to all the other things GetCrypt does, it will also try to encrypt files on network shares. When encrypting, it would also attempt to brute force the network account credentials.

It would use an embedded list of usernames and passwords to connect to the network shares using the WNetEnumResourceW function.

It could also try to brute force the credentials and mount them using the WNetAddConnection2W function.

Solution
All you need to get your files decrypted for free is an unencrypted copy of your encrypted file.

Simply download the decrypt_GetCrypt.exe program from the following link and save it on your desktop:

Once downloaded, run the decryptor and select an encrypted file you wish to decrypt and its unencrypted version.

Click on the start button. The decyptor will now brute force your decryption key and VOILA! Your files will get decrypted.