Open source Ransomware and Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) are making malware so accessible that even your grandfather can be a Ransomware Cybercriminal. For those who don’t know, Ransomware is a form of malware that locks up access to a users data. Then ransomware distributors demand (untraceable bitcoin) payment in exchange for a key to unlock the encrypted files, Malware developers take in over a billion dollars annually from these attacks (www.cnbcnews.com, jan. 2016)
The emergence of these open source ransomware programs via various websites and hacking forums is expected to further spur the growth of these attacks in 2017 and beyond. Additionally, Ransomware programmers are getting more elaborate with their promotional strategies. They’re creating geo-targeted ‘spam’ with ransomware attachments or links that seem more legitimate to the recipient. Some hackers have a “get one free,” promotional strategy. They give victims the key to unlock one file. That proves to their target that the files will really be unlocked if they pay the full ransom.
The proliferation of these point and click versions of the malware have given cybercriminals the tools to expand Ransomware hacking to anyone with a computer and internet access. There are commission-based programs, meaning hackers can buy software or download open source versions. One of the more chilling developments is the sophisticated promotional videos blatantly urging folks to get involved in the ransomware business.
Philadelphia Ransomware has a glitzy video promoting their version of the malware. For about $400 you can get the “most advanced and customization ransomware ever.” Claiming to be smart and autonomous, it lets you edit text and even pick your own color scheme. This ransomware offers sleep time as well as “exclusive features.” The program offers free upgrades and no monthly fees for life, with purchase. Opening with the message “Welcome to the new generation of Ransomware” the five minute video pours through dozens of features.
Philadelphia Ransomware boasts that it can be set up to encrypt files in all these common formats: .xls, .xlsx, .zip, .avi, .bmp, .mp3, .mp4, .docx, .doc, .pdf, .ppt, .html, .gif, .jpeg and dozens more with the promise that the corrupted files cannot be decrypted without buying the key. After encryption the program has automatic bitcoin payment detection.
The video highlights the software’s ability to “organize victims” and generate PDF reports to track your “campaigns.” It also is linked to Google maps to help you set up ransomware attacks around the globe. They state, “Everything Just Works.” Not only do they bring a new level of refinement to the software, but they’ve raised the bar on promoting their program.
The video can be seen by clicking here.
The increased availability and simplicity of these programs continues to lead to the proliferation of ransomware. This further emphasized the need for enterprises to have a plan for when Ransomware strikes…and it will strike. Unitrends can help Protect, Secure, Test, Detect and Recover your data learn more here.
Read our eBook on Ransomware.