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
 

Recommended Reading:

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.
Look Beyond the 'Big 5' in Cyberattacks
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/25/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I think the boss is bing watching '70s TV shows again!
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-29458
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
Textpattern CMS 4.6.2 allows CSRF via the prefs subsystem.
CVE-2020-29456
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Papermerge before 1.5.2 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the rename, tag, upload, or create folder function. The payload can be in a folder, a tag, or a document's filename. If email consumption is configured in ...
CVE-2020-5423
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
CAPI (Cloud Controller) versions prior to 1.101.0 are vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack in which an unauthenticated malicious attacker can send specially-crafted YAML files to certain endpoints, causing the YAML parser to consume excessive CPU and RAM.
CVE-2020-29454
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
Editors/LogViewerController.cs in Umbraco through 8.9.1 allows a user to visit a logviewer endpoint even if they lack Applications.Settings access.
CVE-2020-7199
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
A security vulnerability has been identified in the HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Manager, also known as HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Management Software. The vulnerability could be remotely exploited to bypass remote authentication leading to execution of arbitrary commands, gaining privileged access,...