New Ransomware Phishing Scheme Lets Wannabe Cybercrims In For Nothing

CyberheistNews Vol 7 #11   |   March 14th., 2017 by KnowBe4

ZDNet reported on a new scheme for aspiring cyber criminals that lets them into the ransomware racket at no cost at all, but at a steep 50/50 split with the people that provide them with the malicious code.

We think that this will not be a major hurdle and that this strain that uses phishing with malicious attachments will take off in the very near future.

This new ransomware operation is providing malicious software to affiliates for nothing in exchange for a big slice of any successful scores. The move represents another evolution in ransomware which could make it an even more dangerous threat, because criminals may be tempted to download it and launch a ransomware campaign as they don’t need to part with their cash to do so.”

Victims are infected with the Dot ransomware using malicious phishing attachments, which will encrypt their files when they run and open a ReadMe HTML, informing them they need to pay a Bitcoin ransom in order to regain access to their data.

“The simplistic and straight-forward design of Dot ransomware enables just about anyone to conduct cybercrime,” warn Fortinet researchers, who predict Dot will soon become a big threat to businesses.

“Although we haven’t seen this ransomware in the wild, with the advertisements being made accessible on hacking forums, it’s only a matter of time until people start taking the bait.”

The scheme reared its ugly head in mid-February and all the user needs to get started is access to the download via the Tor browser and register a Bitcoin address.

Once this is done, the Dot criminal coders allow a download with a getting started guide, including help on which file types to use to distribute ransomware, and hints about the level of ransoms to charge in which countries. They provide a dashboard to keep track of the number and status of infections and the code is designed like normal modern software.

SEC Phishing Emails Target Execs for Inside Info

A sophisticated phishing attack is trying to get confidential corporate information. Bad guys are sending spoofed emails claiming to be from the Security and Exchange Commission, and target lawyers, compliance managers, and the very company officials who file documents with the SEC.

Late February 2017, FireEye identified this spear phishing campaign based on multiple similar tools, tactics, and procedures, and have high confidence that this campaign is associated with the financially motivated threat group tracked by FireEye as FIN7.

Spear Phishing Campaign

All of the observed intended recipients of the spear phishing campaign appeared to be involved with SEC filings for their respective organizations. Many of the recipients were even listed in their company’s SEC filings. The sender email address was spoofed as EDGAR , the attachment is named “Important_Changes_to_Form10_K.doc”.

First International Cybermafia

John Miller, a director of threat intelligence at FireEye, described the attackers as among “the most sophisticated financial actors” and said their methods were similar to hackers who targeted ATM machines and other parts of the banking system. He also warned the hacking tools they sought to install were particularly insidious.

“It’s the Swiss army knife of malware. It lets you do whatever you want to with the compromised system,” Miller said. Fin7 is the first international cybermafia, a group of cybercriminals from Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Europe and China. More about which industries are targeted at the KnowBe4 Blog: