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Tag: Cyber Crime

Understanding Clop Ransomware

Clop is a ransomware-type virus that belongs to the CryptoMix family. The word ‘Clop’ itself means ‘bug’ in Russian. The virus is mostly aimed at English-speaking users and tends to target complete networks instead of individual users.

Clop ransomware infects systems running on the Microsoft Windows platform. It has been designed to encrypt data and rename every file by appending the ‘.clop’ extension. After successful encryption of files, Clop generates a text file containing the ransom message and places its copy in every existing folder. Another unique character of Clop ransomware is the string ‘Dont Worry C|0P’ included in the ransom note. The decryption keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. This makes it necessary for every victim to pay the ransom in order to get the decryption key.

What Is The Payload Used For Clop Ransomware?

Transmission:

The Clop ransomware is distributed in the form of an executable that has been a code-signed digital signature. It makes the executable appear more legitimate and helps it in bypassing the system security.

The virus infection is spread through a macro or JavaScript attachment in a spam email. Sometimes, the virus may be delivered as a downloadable link in an email. Other ways of spreading the Clop ransomware include exploit kits, malwertizement, and compromised websites.

Execution:

After infection, the virus first stops the Windows services and programs to ensure the disabling of antivirus software such as Windows Defender etc. Additionally, it closes all the files so that they are ready for encryption. For disabling the Windows Defender, the virus configures various Registry values that disable behavior monitoring, real time protection, sample uploading to Microsoft, Tamper protection, cloud detections, and antispyware detections. In the case of older computer systems, Clop uninstalls Microsoft Security Essentials to surpass the security.

After terminating processes, it creates a batch file, which is executed soon after the ransomware is launched. The batch file disables windows automatic Startup repair. The ransomware then starts encrypting the files on the victim system and adds the ‘.Clop’ extension to the name of encrypted files.

The ransom note is created under the name ‘ClopReadMe.txt’ and a copy is placed in every folder.

How To Stay Protected?

  • Use an updated version of antivirus.
  • Scan the spammed mails.
  • Avoid clicking on unidentified links, advertizement or websites.
  • Create regular backups of the files.

For more information on how to secure your network for various threats, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

 

Surprising Places Where Hackers Hide

Though most of the businesses follow the basic IT security protocols like using strong passwords, installing updated security solutions and blocking unauthorized access; there is a constant increase in number of hacking instances. Nowadays, hackers utilize diverse mediums to serve as an entry points to infect a system or network and initiate widespread attacks. It is important to be aware of these entry points in order to develop effective cybersecurity strategies.

  1. Off-brand Apps: Some apps may not be available on certain operating systems. Hackers design off-brand apps with similar features and offer them for download on these operating systems. Once a user installs this app, the system is compromised and hackers gain access to his personal data like login details,  photos, videos, etc. An example of such attack is the phishing attack that targeted Snapchat users. Hackers sent a link to users via a compromised account. This link pointed to a mobile site that was designed to look like Snapchat login page. As the users entered their login information, the details were copied and saved by the hackers. The stolen login information including passwords of affected users was then publicly posted on a phishing site.
  2. Home Appliances: Hackers now use home appliances like smart refrigerators to launch an attack. The smart home devices are generally factory configured including a preset password. It is common for users to forget to reset or personalize their password which makes them an easy target for hackers.
  3. Your Car: Most cars are installed with wireless or Bluetooth connectivity. The system enables users to enjoy benefits like keyless entries, remote start, navigation, etc. These features collect data like locations saved in navigation system, location where car is parked and other such vulnerable data. Car manufacturers tie up with third party data storage companies to store this personal information of users. This provides an opportunity for hackers to breach the system and steal the data.
  4. Cash Register: Hackers steal payment card details of customers by using POS Malware. When a card is swiped to make the payment, the payment card data is encrypted. The data is then decrypted in RAM of processing device to complete the payment. POS Malware attacks inefficiently secured systems to steal the payment card details from their RAM. The unencrypted data is then sent to the hacker. Stolen card details are then sold by the hackers.
  5. Fax Machine: The communication protocols of fax machines offer security vulnerabilities that can be used as loopholes by the hackers to launch widespread cyberattacks in organizations. Hackers create a colored jpeg image file coded with any type of malware. The coded image is sent to a target fax device where the image is decoded and saved into fax-printer’s memory. The malware can now spread over any network to which the fax printer is connected.

For more information about cybersecurity risks, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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