Ransomware prevents you from accessing files from an infected computer until you pay the ransom. For the past few months, users especially in Russia and Ukraine have experienced several strains of ransomware, the latest one being BadRabbit which targeted consumers and businesses.
BadRabbit appears to be automatically downloaded when users visit legitimate websites, but as it doesn't use any exploits as with previous ransomware, it relies on the user to run the program manually. It poses as an Adobe Flash installer. When the program is run, it displays a similar message to other ransomware and tells users to send just under $300 to a Bitcoin account.
“It was only a matter of time before someone took the ideas from WannaCry and NotPetya and ran with them for another go at unsuspecting victims. It appears this latest variation, the so-called Bad Rabbit ransomware, is being distributed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer file,” says Chester Wisniewski, Principal Research Scientist at Sophos.
“Initial reports are primarily from Eastern Europe, especially focused on Russia and Ukraine,” he added.
What makes this malware more dangerous than your typical ransomware being distributed in a similar manner is its ability to spread across an organization as a worm and not just through email attachments or vulnerable web plugins. It is rumored to contain the same password stealing and spreading mechanism as NotPetya, allowing it to traverse an enterprise and cripple it in no time.
SophosLabs are working to confirm these details. At the moment their Anti-Virus customers will detect this variation as Troj/Ransom-ERK.
In addition, IT experts at the company recommend the following:
- Keep software up to date with the latest patches.
- Back up regularly and keep a recent backup copy off-site. There are dozens of ways other than ransomware that files can suddenly vanish, such as fire, flood, theft, a dropped laptop or even an accidental delete.
- Encrypt your backup and you won’t have to worry about the backup device falling into the wrong hands.
- Defense-in-depth is your friend. Criminals constantly try to outwit security products, having many layers of protection helps bridge the gap when one is evaded.