Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/5/2015
04:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
0%
100%

CryptoWall 4.0 A Stealthier, More Sweet-Talking Ransomware

Less 'gimme all your money,' more 'please buy this software package.'

A sweet-talking, stealthier, new version of the CryptoWall ransomware, CryptoWall 4.0, is in the wild, according to researchers at Heimdal Security and BitDefender.

The previous version, CryptoWall 3.0, just came out in January, and according to figures released last week by the Cyber Threat Alliance, it has already extorted $325 million from tens of thousands of victims worldwide. CryptoWall 4.0 aims to surpass that performance.

Ransomware is not exactly shy; it will always make itself known eventually. Yet security tools hope to catch it when it first creeps onto a machine, and stop it before it springs into action. Yet, CryptoWall 4.0 has made modifications to help it evade detection by security tools "even by 2nd generation firewall solutions," according to Heimdal Security.

When the malware makes its move, the new CryptoWall not only encrypts files, as it always has done, it also encrypts filenames. Heimdal Security states this new technique increases victims' confusion, and thereby increases the likelihood that they'll pay the ransom, and quickly.

4.0 also contains a strikingly different ransom message than earlier CryptoWalls. Previous versions have always aimed to frighten and harass victims, but as BitDefender explains, the new ransom message is "longer, less alarming and with a hint of irony."

Instead of being an obvious threat from an attacker, the new message hides the threat inside a welcome wagon. Rather than simply demanding a ransom to decrypt the files, they recommend "purchasing the software package" for $700, payable in Bitcoin.

The ransom itself has the cuddly filename "HELP_YOUR_FILES," comes in TXT, HTML, and PNG form, and includes the text "Congratulations! You have become a part of large community CryptoWall!" and "the instructions that you find in folders with encrypted files are not viruses; they are your helpers."

The message urges victims to "think logically" and not get security products involved, because their attempts could prove fatal to their files.

It isn't all soft-sell, cajoling, and reason, though. The message has some bite, stating: "In case if these simple rules are violated we will not be able to help you, and we will not try because you have been warned."

As Heimdal Security explains "Cryptoware creators act like they run software companies," continuing to enhance their code, addressing advancements in security controls, and using all possible social engineering techniques at their disposal to trigger payment.

Black Hat Europe returns to the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Netherlands November 12 & 13, 2015. Click here for more information and to register.

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Microsoft President: Governments Must Cooperate on Cybersecurity
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/8/2018
5 Reasons Why Threat Intelligence Doesn't Work
Jonathan Zhang, CEO/Founder of WhoisXML API and TIP,  11/7/2018
Why Password Management and Security Strategies Fall Short
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  11/7/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
This report offers insight on how security professionals plan to invest in cybersecurity, and how they are prioritizing their resources. Find out what your peers have planned today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-16470
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-13
There is a possible DoS vulnerability in the multipart parser in Rack before 2.0.6. Specially crafted requests can cause the multipart parser to enter a pathological state, causing the parser to use CPU resources disproportionate to the request size.
CVE-2018-16471
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-13
There is a possible XSS vulnerability in Rack before 2.0.6 and 1.6.11. Carefully crafted requests can impact the data returned by the `scheme` method on `Rack::Request`. Applications that expect the scheme to be limited to 'http' or 'https' and do not escape the return value could be vulnerable to a...
CVE-2018-6980
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-13
VMware vRealize Log Insight (4.7.x before 4.7.1 and 4.6.x before 4.6.2) contains a vulnerability due to improper authorization in the user registration method. Successful exploitation of this issue may allow Admin users with view only permission to perform certain administrative functions which they...
CVE-2018-17614
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-13
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Losant Arduino MQTT Client prior to V2.7. User interaction is not required to exploit this vulnerability. The specific flaw exists within the parsing of MQTT PUBLISH packets. The issue results from th...
CVE-2018-8009
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-13
Apache Hadoop 3.1.0, 3.0.0-alpha to 3.0.2, 2.9.0 to 2.9.1, 2.8.0 to 2.8.4, 2.0.0-alpha to 2.7.6, 0.23.0 to 0.23.11 is exploitable via the zip slip vulnerability in places that accept a zip file.