Maze is a sophisticated version of Windows ransomware that was discovered in May 2019. The ransomware was previously known as ‘ChaCha ransomware’. The goal of the ransomware is to crypt the files it finds on an infected system and demand a cryptocurrency payment in exchange of safe recovery of the encrypted data.
What Makes Maze Different?
Like other ransomware, Maze is capable of spreading across a corporate network and infecting all the computers connected to the victim network. It encrypts the data files in order to render them useless safely recovered.
However, what sets it apart from other ransomware is its ability to steal the data on infected systems and send it to servers controlled by the hackers. This allows hackers to threaten the victim organization to release its documents in case the ransom is not paid.
Thus, even if an organization uses a back up to retrieve the files, it is still obliged to pay the ransom to prevent public release of its documents.
The Maze hackers maintain a website where they list their clients (term used for victims who fail to pay the ransom). The website includes details such as name of the victim, when their computer systems were infected, links to download stolen data as “proof” and convenient buttons to share the details of breach on “social media”. The hackers have no reservations about offering uncensored downloads of stolen data that can damage an organization’s reputation.
How Does Maze Ransomware Work?
Maze ransomware makes use of different techniques to gain entry into a network. Some techniques include-
- Use of exploit kits such as Fallout and Spelevo
- Remote desktop connections with weak security
- Email impersonation (the email contains a word attachment that uses macros to run the malware in the system)
The malware is a 32 bits binary file that is usually packed as an EXE or DLL file.
The malware encrypts the files in an easy step-by-step process:
- Locate the file using “SetFileAttributesW” function & “FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ARCHIVE” attribute.
- Reserve memory to the file with a call to “Virtual Alloc”.
- Open the file with read and write permissions.
- Get the file size with the “GetFileSizeEx” function.
- Create a file mapping.
- Generate a random key of 32 bytes with the function “CryptGenRandom”.
- Generate a random ‘Initialization Vector (IV)’ of 8 bytes with the function “CryptGenRandom”.
- Reserve 264 bytes of memory with the function “VirtualAlloc”.
- Generate a new random extension for the victim file.
- Crypt the file.
- Write this new block with the key and IV to decrypt at the end of the file.
- Rename the file with the function “MoveFileExW”.
- The image of the file is unmapped, and handles closed.
- The process is repeated with new files.
When all files are crypted, the wallpaper of the system is switched with a note to inform the user about the attack.
Maze also has a chat function to contact the hackers and receive the information about payment details.
For more information on IT security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.