Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 26 September 2016 10:56

More new Ransomware – MarsJoke is not a joke

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An indicator of just how gullible we are is the fact that emails with socially engineered subject lines like “Check your tracking number, track your package” et al., are still getting through. And users are silly enough to click on them.

On 22 September, Proofpoint noted the non-linear, large scale attack of a new  Windows ransomware variant it has dubbed MarsJoke. The original campaign was aimed at US government and educational Institutions and the “tracking” link accessed “file_6.exe. The campaign also attacked smaller numbers for healthcare, telecommunications, insurance, and several other verticals.

The emails were purportedly from major national airlines and freight carriers and looked legitimate with logos and advertising in them.

MarsJoke airline

This strain of ransomware hasn't been documented before. There were hundreds of thousands of messages involved with this campaign, which used URLs to malware hosted on several freshly registered domains

Vice-president of threat operations at Proofpoint, Kevin Epstein, said, “The explosion of ransomware we're facing makes MarsJoke feel like 'just another ransomware' - but to the state agency or high school that ends up paying sizeable ransoms or losing critical data, this is hardly ordinary.

"Three things set this campaign apart from other recent ransomware attacks: the use of so-called hosted ransomware, the targeting, and the scale. While it hasn't reached the scale of an average Locky attack, combined with the known targeting, this MarsJoke campaign is significant."

MarsJoke


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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