Monday, 16 December 2013

Cyber-criminals seek ransomware creation kit

Following the grand-scale damages (12,000 victims per week) caused by Cryptolocker, cyber-criminals are now seeking to mass-produce and customise new forms of ransomware. As we’ve discussed in a previous article, Crytoplocker is an increasingly common Trojan horse malware, which encrypts its victim’s files and then demands a bitcoin payment for the decryption.

According to James Lyne, global head of security research at Sophos, there’s evidence that many cyber-thieves are willing to cash in to get a share from the success of ransomware programs such as Cryptolocker.

Documents have been circulating online looking for developers to write a kit that anybody could use to design their own ransomware. These kits have led to a huge rise in the number of other malicious programs, and by removing the need for any technical skill whatsoever; they are enabling more and more users to commit cyber-crimes for the first time. What’s more, some criminally minded developers even offer technical support for those that get stuck with creating their malicious software.

Because of its high success rates in making victims pay, Cryptolocker is expected to attract even more "investors" and followers, who will try to profit from launching modified versions of the program. "There could be a lot more mainstream cybercriminals looking to go "noisy"," said James Lyne. He also added that "Cryptolocker is very much a deviation from the norm," and “it is a sign of things to come.”

To learn more about the methods and dangers of Cryptolocker, read our previous blog entry and watch the following video: