Over the years, the diffusion of darknets has created new illegal business models. Along with classic illegal goods such as drugs and payment card data, other services appeared in the criminal underground, including hacking services and malware development. New platforms allow crooks without any technical skills to create their own ransomware and spread it.

Ransomware is malicious code that infects the victims’ machines and blocks or encrypts their files, requesting the payment of a ransom. When ransomware is installed on a victim machine, it searches for and targets sensitive files and data, including financial data, databases and personal files. Ransomware is developed to make the victim’ machine unusable. The user has only two options: pay the ransom without having the guarantee of getting back the original files or format the PC disconnecting it from the Internet.

The first ransomware was born in 1989 when 20,000 floppy disks were dispatched as “AIDS Information-introductory Diskettes,” and after 90 reboots, the software hid directories and encrypted the names of files on the customer’s computer, claiming a ransom of $189. The payment had to be done depositing the requested amount at a post office box in Panama.

After many years, in May 2005, GpCode, TROJ.RANSOM.A, Archiveus, Krotten, and others appeared and in the threat landscape-

With the advent of the new anonymous payment method, such as Bitcoin, at the end of 2008, the ransomware has adopted mew payment methods.

Many ransomware families such as CryptoLocker, TeslaCrypt, and Locky compromised an impressive number of systems worldwide, but the WannaCry Ransomware Attack is currently considered the most devastating of all cyber-attacks.

In a few hours after discovery, the malware was able to infect more than 230k machines exploiting a vulnerability in the SMB protocol. Despite its unexpected worm-like behavior, WannaCry continued to encrypt the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Pierluigi Paganini. Read the original post at:

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