How the latest ransomware threat is more dangerous than ever

Just when you think you’ve heard it all with ransomware, a new kind comes that changes the game again. This time, it’s going mostly after hospitals … so far. 

This ransomware variant doesn’t require phishing or angler kits, according to the Cisco Talos blog. Instead, it uses an exploit kit and compromised credentials or other methods.

Here how it works:

Entry point

A hacker compromises a server within the organization. This can be done in countless ways, such as compromising the credentials of a privileged user or taking advantage of hardware vulnerabilities.

Once inside, the attackers use JexBoss, an open-source malware, to target JBoss application servers or other types of malware to go after individual’s accounts.

The attackers begin encrypting files with 2048-bit encryption. This renders them essentially undecipherable without the key.

When all is said and done, the hackers have moved laterally from one attack vector to lock out as many machines and accounts as possible.

The cost of decrypting files: between 1 and 1.7 bitcoin per computer.

Different attack

What makes this attack particularly noteworthy is that unlike most ransomware, it doesn’t go after the usual attack vector, individual users. Instead of relying on tricking a single user, it works by getting into systems, then spreading the attack from there.

That could lead to more bang for the buck. Instead of infecting a single machine that may or may not be a high-value target, it can affect several different ones. And if a company is willing to pay to unlock, it’s not a one-time payment. It’s several computers.

Note that the following file types can be locked out, according to Talos:

.3dm, .3ds, .3fr, .3g2, .3gp, .3pr, .7z, .ab4, .accdb, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .act, .adb, .ads, .agdl, .ai, .ait, .al, .apj, .arw, .asf, .asm, .asp, .aspx, .asx, .avi, .awg, .back, .backup, .backupdb, .bak, .bank, .bay, .bdb, .bgt, .bik, .bkf, .bkp, .blend, .bpw, .c, .cdf, .cdr, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr5, .cdr6, .cdrw, .cdx, .ce1, .ce2, .cer, .cfp, .cgm, .cib, .class, .cls, .cmt, .cpi, .cpp, .cr2, .craw, .crt, .crw, .cs, .csh, .csl, .csv, .dac, .db, .db-journal, .db3, .dbf, .dbx, .dc2, .dcr, .dcs, .ddd, .ddoc, .ddrw, .dds, .der, .des, .design, .dgc, .djvu, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .drf, .drw, .dtd, .dwg, .dxb, .dxf, .dxg, .eml, .eps, .erbsql, .erf, .exf, .fdb, .ffd, .fff, .fh, .fhd, .fla, .flac, .flv, .fmb, .fpx, .fxg, .gray, .grey, .gry, .h, .hbk, .hpp, .htm, .html, .ibank, .ibd, .ibz, .idx, .iif, .iiq, .incpas, .indd, .jar, .java, .jin, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .jsp, .kbx, .kc2, .kdbx, .kdc, .key, .kpdx, .lua, .m, .m4v, .max, .mdb, .mdc, .mdf, .mef, .mfw, .mmw, .moneywell, .mos, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg, .mrw, .msg, .myd, .nd, .ndd, .nef, .nk2, .nop, .nrw, .ns2, .ns3, .ns4, .nsd, .nsf, .nsg, .nsh, .nwb, .nx2, .nxl, .nyf, .oab, .obj, .odb, .odc, .odf, .odg, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .oil, .orf, .ost, .otg, .oth, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pab, .pages, .pas, .pat, .pbl, .pcd, .pct, .pdb, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .php, .php5, .phtml, .pl, .plc, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prf, .ps, .psafe3, .psd, .pspimage, .pst, .ptx, .py, .qba, .qbb, .qbm, .qbr, .qbw, .qbx, .qby, .r3d, .raf, .rar,, .rat, .raw, .rdb, .rm, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .rwz, .s3db, .sas7bdat, .say, .sd0, .sda, .sdf, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .sr2, .srf, .srt, .srw, .st4, .st5, .st6, .st7, .st8, .std, .sti, .stw, .stx, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxg, .sxi, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tex, .tga, .thm, .tib, .tif, .tlg, .txt, .vob, .wallet, .war, .wav, .wb2, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .x11, .x3f, .xis, .xla, .xlam, .xlk, .xlm, .xlr, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .ycbcra, .yuv, .zip

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