It’s a bad day when you say “malware encrypted my files”
“Oh No, Malware Encrypted My Files!”
Recently, a number of major sites were hit by malware ‘malvertising’. A number of major websites have seen their advertisements hijacked by these malicious campaigns which attempt to install “ransomware” on users’ computers.Security researchers from Malwarebytes say the attacks were targeted at US users. This recent attack included such entities as the New York Times, the BBC, AOL and the NFL. These sites have a combined traffic that reaches into the billions of visitors.
The malware campaign was delivered through a number of different advertising networks. It preyed upon companies’ vulnerabilities, such as a flaw in Microsoft Silverlight. Silverlight is similar to Adobe Flash, and this plugin is used by a number of different browsers. The flaw had been recently patched, and while Silverlight was discontinued in 2013, the malware was still able to prey upon this problem.
How the Malware Worked
When a web surfer hits upon one of the malicious advertisements, the ‘malvertising’ redirects the page to one of the servers which hosts the malware. This would include the Angler exploit kit which is very popular among cybercriminals.
Kits like the Angler will then try to a back door into the target’s computer. When it does get into the user’s computer, it will install software which will encrypt the hard drive. This software is CryptoLocker, which is a ransomware Trojan. It then demands payment in bitcoin before it will unlock the computer.
This type of software is becoming very popular among cybercriminals. Earlier this year, this type of CryptoLocker software appeared in an infected installation of a BitTorrent client transmission.
A drive-by installation is one demands just one or two bitcoins as ransom, but the more targeted ransomware attacks, like those seen earlier this year, have demanded much higher payments. One hospital in Los Angeles was said to have paid over $17,000 dollars to their attackers.
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Don’t find yourself saying “Malware encrypted my files”! Take action and contact us now and keep the problem from ever happening.