Bad Rabbit: New ransomware strikes computers in Eastern Europe and other countries

26 October, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Lora Ball
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An emerging ransomware attack, Bad Rabbit, has infected systems across Russian Federation and Ukraine and is spreading across the globe - even as firms are still recovering from recent widespread disruption caused by the devastating WannaCry and Petya cyber attacks.

He encouraged everyone at Wednesday's briefing to make sure they have working backups of their files, segregate parts of their computer networks so that ransomware can not infiltrate an entire system after gaining access to one device, and constantly train their employees to be aware of what they download or grant access to. It has also been detected in other countries including the U.S., Germany and Japan.

While this outbreak has a much smaller scale compared to other ransomware outbreaks, system administrators should be prepared for it and other attacks like it.

The latest ransomware attack is believed to be a variant of Petya. Two major global attacks earlier this year - NotPetya and Wannacry - caused widespread disruption affecting businesses, government institutions and hospitals. The hackers are reportedly demanding.05 bitcoin as ransom - that's nearly $280.

On Tuesday, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an alert about Bad Rabbit and encouraged victims to not pay the ransom.

Bad Rabbit has also affected a Ukrainian airport and an underground railway system in Kiev, Ukraine's capital.

"What makes this malware more unsafe than your typical ransomware being distributed in a similar manner is its ability to spread across an organisation as a worm and not just through email attachments or vulnerable web plugins", says Wisniewski.

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It's been just four months after the "NotPetya" malware spread from two countries across the world. "While the target is visiting a legitimate website, a malware dropper is being downloaded from the threat actor's infrastructure", according to analysis by Kaspersky Labs.

"In some of the companies, the work has been completely paralysed - servers and workstations are encrypted", the head of Russian cyber-security firm Group-IB, Ilya Sachkov, said.

A new ransomware is spreading across Europe by tricking victims into installing it by pretending to be a software update. It serves as a reminder that people should never download apps or software from pop-up advertisements or websites that don't belong to the software company. This ransomware functions in a similar way as NotPetya/Petya in the sense that it encrypts your files and then encrypts your file system, which leaves you with a ransom lock screen that is displayed before Windows starts. Perhaps the most nerve racking part about Bad Rabbit, according to Kaspersky, is that it doesn't attack using exploits.

"Currently, it's unclear as to whether or not Bad Rabbit will be able to reap the same damage as WannaCry, but undoubtedly businesses will be holding their breath".

It's not yet clear who's behind Bad Rabbit - but they seem to be a fan of "Game of Thrones".

First thing's first, enable easily available and free protections on your system: at the very least have Windows Defender running and enabled. Within hours of it beginning to spread, CyberReason researcher Amit Serper discovered a vaccine to block that particular strain of ransomware. Users are prompted to install the malware which is disguised as Adobe Flash player. "Fake Flash updates are an incredibly popular method of distributing malware these days".

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