Feeds

Ransomware Trojan is back and badder than ever

Hextually transmitted pathogen encrypts files

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A ransomware Trojan threat is back – in an even more noxious form – two years after it last appeared.

A new variant of the GpCode ransomware encrypts user files on infected Windows PCs using theAES 256 and RSA 1024 encryption algorithms. The malware only encrypts the start of media or Office files, but that's enough to make any data recovery process difficult if not impossible.

The latest version of the malware overwrites data in files instead of simply deleting files after encryption, the approach taken by previous versions of GpCode. The approach makes it far harder to use data-recovery software.

The unknown miscreants behind the Trojan – who first started operating in 2004 but have been quiet since 2008 – then demand $120 for keys needed to decrypt files, via a notice displayed on infected machines after the malware has scrambled user files. Other ransomware scams have cropped up over the last two years, but none of these involved variants of the GpCode Trojan, according to net security firm Kaspersky Lab.

A write-up of the attack, together with screenshots, can be found in a blog post by anti-virus analyst Vitaly Kamluk of Kaspersky Lab here. Victims are instructed to send funds via a wire transfer if they ever want to see their data again.

Sophos adds that the malware apparently comes via a drive-by vulnerability from compromised websites, A malicious PDF is reportedly used to download and install the ransomware, which only affects Windows PCs.

Users are advised to regularly back up sensitive data and to use security software as a precaution against possible attacks. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.