There are early signs of a new ransomware outbreak, currently affecting a large number of countries across the globe, such as the UK, Ukraine, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, and others. This ransom uses the contact details of firstname.lastname@example.org and asks for a payment of $300 in Bitcoin. Petya’s initial distribution vector was a tainted update for an accounting software package popular in the Ukraine, from the legitimate MEDoc updater process.. The new ransomware has worm capabilities, which allows it to move laterally across infected networks.
To capture credentials for spreading, the ransomware uses custom tools, a la Mimikatz. These extract credentials from the lsass.exe process. After extraction, credentials are passed to PsExec tools or WMIC for distribution inside a network. The execution chain leading to the ransomware installation is represented in the diagram below and essentially confirms that EzVit.exe process from MEDoc, for unknown reasons, at some moment executed the following command-line:
C:\\Windows\\system32\\rundll32.exe\” \”C:\\ProgramData\\perfc.dat\”,#1 30
Other observed infection vectors include:
A modified EternalBlue exploit, also used by WannaCry.
The EternalRomance exploit – a remote code execution exploit targeting Windows XP to Windows 2008 systems over TCP port 445 (Note: patched with MS17-010).
An attack against the update mechanism of a third-party Ukrainian software product called MeDoc.
IMPORTANT: A single infected system on the network possessing administrative credentials is capable of spreading this infection to all the other computers through WMI or PSEXEC.
Only if the malware is running with highest privilege (i.e., with SeDebugPrivilege enabled), it tries to overwrite the MBR code.
This ransomware attempts to encrypt all files, Unlike most other ransomware, this threat does not append a new file name extension to encrypted files. Instead, it overwrites the said files. The AES key generated for encryption is per machine, per fixed drive, and gets exported and encrypted using the embedded 2048-bit RSA public key of the attacker.
After completing its encryption routine, this ransomware drops a text file called README.TXT in each fixed drive. The said file has the following text:
After execution, the ransomware infects the system at a low level, modifying the MBR and presenting the user with the following prompt:
After a reboot, instead of loading into the operating system installed on the computer, the user is faced with a fake Check Disk operation that, instead of actually checking your hard disk for issues, is actually encrypting files. This is done to buy the ransomware more time to encrypt all the relevant files on the system without being stopped by the user. The MFT (Master File Table) and the MBR are also encrypted. The MBR is overwritten to display the ransom note, which makes it impossible to boot the system without remediation—meaning users must either pay the culprit or be unable to access their system. The computer will then display a menacing black screen with red lettering listing the ransomware’s purpose and its demands. The attack affects users by encrypting anywhere from a single file to the entire system.
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