Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

10/20/2016
03:36 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Free Tool Stops Petya Ransomware & Rootkits

Meanwhile, Locky puts ransomware on the Check Point Top Three Global Malware List for the first time ever.

Although Check Point reported today that ransomware operators have reached a new benchmark in their malicious spree, security researchers at Cisco Talos Labs have unveiled a new way to fight back. 

For the first time ever, reports Check Point, a ransomware strain has hit its Top Three Global Malware List -- specifically the Locky ransomware, which accounted for 6% of all attacks recognized globally during September.

Meanwhile, Cisco Talos has released a new free, open-source tool -- called MBRFilter -- to fight the insidious Petya ransomware and similar malware.

F-Secure first issued an alert about Petya in April. Most ransomware works by simply encrypting files; Petya uses a much different tactic, behaving more like a rootkit. Petya overwrites the system's Master Boot Record, which forces the system to reboot. On reboot, the malware encrypts the Master File Table of the infected system's hard drive.

The process happens more quickly than other ransomware's usual file-by-file grind. It leaves little time to notice there's a problem, much less call for help. 

MBRFilter defeats Petya in a rather simple, clever way. MBRFilter is a driver that simply places the MBR into read-only mode. Therefore, ransomware like Petya cannot overwrite the MBR or otherwise modify its contents. 

"Our vulnerability research team is constantly looking for new ways to exploit devices and identify ways to better protect them," says Craig Williams, senior technical leader and global outreach manager of Talos. "This project is a natural result." 

Although MBRFilter will not help organizations solve their problems with Locky, it has wide use beyond ransomware.

"This should be effective at stopping all rootkits which require MBR modification," says Williams. 

MBRFilter is a simple disk filter based on Microsoft's diskperf and classpnp example drivers. Cisco Talos Labs researchers caution security operations teams to test MBRFilter thoroughly before deploying it to production environments, because it was deliberately designed to be difficult to remove.

Related Content:

 

 

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
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
10/21/2016 | 11:14:50 AM
Cut out the middle man
I suppose this proliferation only makes sense.  The bad guys are finding out that they can make more money and keep 100% of the cut by taking money directly out of their victims' pockets as opposed to fighting for scraps in the decimated spam market.
Can Your Patching Strategy Keep Up with the Demands of Open Source?
Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist, CyRC, at Synopsys,  6/18/2019
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12957
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
In Xpdf 4.01.01, a buffer over-read could be triggered in FoFiType1C::convertToType1 in fofi/FoFiType1C.cc when the index number is larger than the charset array bounds. It can, for example, be triggered by sending a crafted PDF document to the pdftops tool. It allows an attacker to use a crafted pd...
CVE-2019-12958
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
In Xpdf 4.01.01, a heap-based buffer over-read could be triggered in FoFiType1C::convertToType0 in fofi/FoFiType1C.cc when it is trying to access the second privateDicts array element, because the privateDicts array has only one element allocated.
CVE-2019-12951
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
An issue was discovered in Mongoose before 6.15. The parse_mqtt() function in mg_mqtt.c has a critical heap-based buffer overflow.
CVE-2019-10689
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
VVX products using UCS software version 5.9.2 and earlier with Better Together over Ethernet Connector (BToE) application version 3.9.1 and earlier provides insufficient authentication between the BToE application and the BToE component, resulting in leakage of sensitive information.
CVE-2019-12346
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
In the miniOrange SAML SP Single Sign On plugin before 4.8.73 for WordPress, the SAML Login Endpoint is vulnerable to XSS via a specially crafted SAMLResponse XML post.