NIST Site Search
Search NIST.GOV
Custom Search
[Official NIST.GOV TIME]
Product Research

Advertise on this site
Ransomware Will Win The War
The well respected Antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab is calling for a massive group effort to break the encryption used by the latest Ransomware. They're asking competitors, governments, and cryptographers to join the effort. But even a massive worldwide computer grid won't win this war.No Longer Supported
The malware being battled is called Gpcode. Gpcode is a Trojan that is sent through email or posted on USENET newsgroups. The infected attachment is a MS Word .DOC file and most users still think DOC files are safe to open. When its run it encrypts the users documents.

"The email had an MS word .doc file called anketa.doc attached. (Anketa is the Russian for application form). This file actually contained a malicious program called Trojan-Dropper.MSWord.Tored.a. When the recipient opens the attachment, a malicious macro installs another Trojan - Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Small.crb - on the victim machine." - Virulist.com


Gpcode searches for over 80 different file types on the computer and encrypts them. Besides the normal document files Gpcode also encrypts the users email database files. The program leaves behind a text file instructing the person how to contact the author to purchase the decoder program. The program also deletes references to its self. Gpcode has gone through several revisions, the encryption keys in previous versions was found relatively quickly because of flaws in how the author implemented the encryption. This latest version, first reported on June 4th, 2008, apparently does not have these flaws and all efforts to date to find other such shortcuts to crack the encryption key have failed.

"Different versions of the Gpcode virus encrypt user files of different types (.doc, .txt, .pdf, .xls, .jpg, .png, .cpp, .h etc.) using a strong RSA encryption algorithm with different key lengths. After encrypting files on a computer, the virus automatically generates a message informing the user that the files have been encrypted and demanding payment for a decryption utility." - Kaspersky Lab


Even if Kaspersky manages to find a weakness in the current encryption implementation and finds the encryption key eventually this author (or someone else) will get it right. To date no one has broken a 1024 bit RSA encryption key (what Gpcode currently uses). They have broken a "special" 307 bit key but not a true "proper" 307 bit RSA key. Even that effort took years to accomplish. The last time they broke a proper 155 bit key it took 9 years and quite a bit of computing power. One of the best known cryptanalyst, Bruce Schneier, says that the writing is on the wall for 1024 bit keys and eventually they will be broke. So even if Kaspersky wins this battle they won't win the war against ransomware.

"I hope RSA applications would have moved away from 1024-bit security years ago, but for those who haven't yet: wake up." - Bruce Schneier


If Kaspersky's group can not find a shortcut it will take a massive amount of computing power to accomplish something no one has done before them. In one respect it will be quite an accomplishment, but in reality it really doesn't help much. By the time they break the encryption key the author will have moved on to another key, perhaps one using a 2048 bit key (which is currently well outside the bounds of being able to be broken in our lifetime). Or perhaps the author will switch to AES encryption which is orders of magnitude stronger than RSA. From the ransomware author's point of view switching to a synchronous AES key does present some practical problems with key distribution but they aren't impossible to overcome.

Though there is currently no way to break the encryption used by the Gpcode Trojan Kaspersky does have instructions for restoring some files encrypted by Gpcode. Gpcode currently encrypts a copy of the file and then deletes the original, therefore it may be possible to undelete the original (unencrypted) file. But don't count on getting much back because deleted files will quickly get overwritten by new encrypted files. Your best defense to any unknown threat is a good backup, then you can simply delete the encrypted files and restore them from backup (after removing the infection). Of course keeping MS Office and your antivirus application up to date can help as well.

There are many experts that believe Kaspersky Lab is wildly optimistic in believing that a 1024 bit key can be broken anytime soon. Let us hope Kaspersky is not successful because whenever you visit a SSL webpage it first connects using a RSA 1024 bit key (in order to securely exchange a synchronous RC4 or AES key to encrypt the data). If RSA encryption can be broken quickly anyone using standard SSL certificates will need to upgrade. Previous data transmitted over SSL that may have been recorded will be at risk of compromise.

References:
Kaspersky Lab - Press Release announcing the launch of the Stop Gpcode international initiative.
Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier's blog. He's 'The Man' when it comes to encryption.
Crypto boffin: writing is on the wall for 1024-bit RSA - The Register: "The largest proper RSA number yet broken was a 200-digit "non-special" number whose two prime factors were identified in 2005 after 18 months of calculations that used over a half century of computer time. The 1024-bit numbers used in RSA encryption are around 100 orders of magnitude bigger than this. The writing may be on the wall for 1024-bit RSA: but as yet, um, nobody can read it."
Virulist.com "Blackmailer: the story of Gpcode" - "Gpcode then scans all accessible directories and encrypts files with certain extensions such as .txt, .xls, .rar, .doc, .html, .pdf etc. It also encrypts mail client databases."
Ransomware resisting crypto cracking efforts - SecurityFocus: "While previous versions have had flawed encryption implementations, the latest version -- Gpcode.ak -- appears to have eliminated the flaws that allowed reverse engineers to find earlier keys."
Kaspersky to try to crack code used in 'blackmailer' virus - CNET.com: "Antivirus software vendor Kaspersky is launching an international effort to try to crack the encryption used in a "blackmailer" virus that locks up data on a victim's computer."



Share or Bookmark this Article Using:
| furl | reddit | del.icio.us | magnoliacom | digg | newsvine | stumble it |


Posted by NIST.org on Monday 16 June 2008 - 05:57:58 | |printer friendly
Translate to: {GOOGLETRANS}
Google Ads




Headlines

»CVE-2016-7815
Remote Service Manager 3.0.0 to 3.1.4 fails to verify client certificates, which may allow remote at ...
»CVE-2016-7839
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in Olive Blog allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web scr ...
»CVE-2016-7840
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in WEB SCHEDULE allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web s ...
»CVE-2016-7841
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in Olive Diary DX allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web ...
»CVE-2016-7842
Directory traversal vulnerability in AttacheCase 2.8.2.8 and earlier and 3.2.0.4 and earlier allows ...
»CVE-2016-7843
Directory traversal vulnerability in AttacheCase for Java 0.60 and earlier, AttacheCase Lite 1.4.6 a ...
»CVE-2016-8030
A memory corruption vulnerability in Scriptscan COM Object in McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.8 Patch ...
»CVE-2016-8584
Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier uses predictable session values, which ...
»CVE-2016-8585
admin_sys_time.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote au ...
»CVE-2016-8586
detected_potential_files.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows ...
»CVE-2016-8587
dlp_policy_upload.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote ...
»CVE-2016-8588
The hotfix_upload.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote ...
»CVE-2016-8589
log_query_dae.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote aut ...
»CVE-2016-8590
log_query_dlp.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote aut ...
»CVE-2016-8591
log_query.cgi in Trend Micro Threat Discovery Appliance 2.6.1062r1 and earlier allows remote authent ...


Date published: 2017-05-01T00:00:01Z
Details

»FTC Releases Announcement on Identity Theft
Original release date: April 27, 2017 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that cons ...
»Adobe Releases Security Updates for ColdFusion
Original release date: April 26, 2017 Adobe has released security updates to address a vulner ...
»Pre-Installed Applications Developed with Portrait Displays SDK Contain Critical Vulnerability
Original release date: April 25, 2017 Applications developed using the Portrait Displays soft ...
»IBM Releases Security Update
Original release date: April 25, 2017 IBM has released a security update to address a vulnera ...
»Drupal Releases Security Updates
Original release date: April 19, 2017 Drupal has released an advisory to address a vulnerabil ...
»Cisco Releases Security Updates
Original release date: April 19, 2017 Cisco has released updates to address several high-impa ...
»Mozilla Releases Security Updates
Original release date: April 19, 2017 Mozilla has released security updates to address a vuln ...
»Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome
Original release date: April 19, 2017 Google has released Chrome version 58.0.3029.81 for Win ...
»VMware Releases Security Updates
Original release date: April 18, 2017 VMware has released security updates to address vulnera ...
»Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
Original release date: April 18, 2017 Oracle has released its Critical Patch Update for April ...


Date published: not known
Details

»VB2016 video: Last-minute paper: A malicious OS X cocktail served from a tainted bottle
In a VB2016 last-minute presentation, ESET researchers Peter Kalnai ...
»Consumer spyware: a serious threat with a different threat model
Consumer spyware is a growing issue and one that can have serious c ...
»VB2016 paper: Debugging and monitoring malware network activities with Haka
In their VB2016 paper, Stormshield researchers Benoît Ancel and Meh ...
»VB2017: a wide ranging and international conference programme
We are proud to announce a very broad and very international progra ...
»John Graham-Cumming and Brian Honan to deliver keynote addresses at VB2017
Virus Bulletin is excited to announce John-Graham Cumming and Brian ...
»Virus Bulletin says a fond farewell to John Hawes
As VB's COO John Hawes moves on to new challenges, the team wish hi ...
»VB2016 paper: One-Click Fileless Infection
Symantec researchers Himanshu Anand and Chastine Menrige explain ho ...
»Mostly blocked, but still good enough: Necurs sending pump-and-dump spam
The Necurs botnet has started sending pump-and-dump spam. Almost al ...
»Why the SHA-1 collision means you should stop using the algorithm
Realistically speaking, if your software or system uses the SHA-1 h ...


Date published: not known
Details
Main Menu
· Home
Current Security News
 
US-CERT Current Activity

» FTC Releases Announcement on Identity Theft
[27 Apr 2017 08:55pm]

» Adobe Releases Security Updates for ColdFusion
[26 Apr 2017 07:03am]

» Pre-Installed Applications Developed with Portrait Displays SDK Contain Critical Vulnerability
[25 Apr 2017 04:15pm]

» IBM Releases Security Update
[25 Apr 2017 06:47am]

» Drupal Releases Security Updates
[19 Apr 2017 06:17pm]

» Cisco Releases Security Updates
[19 Apr 2017 06:14pm]

» Mozilla Releases Security Updates
[19 Apr 2017 06:04pm]

» Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome
[19 Apr 2017 06:02pm]

» VMware Releases Security Updates
[18 Apr 2017 02:34pm]

» Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
[18 Apr 2017 02:30pm]

***
US-CERT Alerts

» TA17-117A: Intrusions Affecting Multiple Victims Across Multiple Sectors
[27 Apr 2017 04:50pm]

» TA17-075A: HTTPS Interception Weakens TLS Security
[16 Mar 2017 06:40am]

» TA16-336A: Avalanche (crimeware-as-a-service infrastructure)
[30 Nov 2016 10:00pm]

» TA16-288A: Heightened DDoS Threat Posed by Mirai and Other Botnets
[14 Oct 2016 05:59pm]

» TA16-250A: The Increasing Threat to Network Infrastructure Devices and Recommended Mitigations
[06 Sep 2016 04:29pm]

» TA16-187A: Symantec and Norton Security Products Contain Critical Vulnerabilities
[05 Jul 2016 08:50am]

» TA16-144A: WPAD Name Collision Vulnerability
[23 May 2016 05:38am]

» TA16-132A: Exploitation of SAP Business Applications
[11 May 2016 05:31am]

» TA16-105A: Apple Ends Support for QuickTime for Windows; New Vulnerabilities Announced
[14 Apr 2016 01:48pm]

» TA16-091A: Ransomware and Recent Variants
[31 Mar 2016 04:00pm]

***
Computerworld Security

» NSA ends surveillance tactic that pulled in citizens' emails, texts
[30 Apr 2017 08:01am]

» How seven mesh routers deal with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
[28 Apr 2017 12:20pm]

» Your car will eventually live-stream video of your driving to the cloud
[28 Apr 2017 11:40am]

» IDG Contributor Network: Book Review: Practical Packet Analysis: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems
[27 Apr 2017 12:45pm]

» Ransomware attacks are taking a bigger toll on victims' wallets
[27 Apr 2017 12:26pm]

» BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone to launch in U.S. and Canada in late May
[27 Apr 2017 04:37am]

» Fitbit: One explodes, data from another used to charge husband with wife's murder
[26 Apr 2017 09:54am]

» Old Windows Server machines can still fend off hacks. Here's how
[26 Apr 2017 05:01am]

» How your company needs to train workers in cybersecurity
[25 Apr 2017 10:21am]

» Customers roast Microsoft over security bulletins' demise
[24 Apr 2017 12:49pm]

» Researchers remotely kill the engine of a moving car by hacking vulnerable car dongle
[24 Apr 2017 10:54am]

» Russian man receives longest-ever prison sentence in the U.S. for hacking
[24 Apr 2017 09:17am]

» FAQ: What is blockchain and how can it help business?
[24 Apr 2017 04:01am]

» How to minimize the risks of phishing scams
[24 Apr 2017 01:00am]

» There's now a tool to test for NSA spyware
[22 Apr 2017 05:43am]

***
Microsoft Security Advisories

» 3123479 - SHA-1 Hashing Algorithm for Microsoft Root Certificate Program - Version: 2.0
[14 Mar 2017 11:00am]

» 4010983 - Vulnerability in ASP.NET Core MVC 1.1.0 Could Allow Denial of Service - Version: 1.0
[27 Jan 2017 11:00am]

» 3214296 - Vulnerabilities in Identity Model Extensions Token Signing Verification Could Allow Elevation of Privilege - Version: 1.0
[10 Jan 2017 11:00am]

» 3181759 - Vulnerabilities in ASP.NET Core View Components Could Allow Elevation of Privilege - Version: 1.0
[13 Sep 2016 11:00am]

» 3174644 - Updated Support for Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange - Version: 1.0
[13 Sep 2016 11:00am]

» 3179528 - Update for Kernel Mode Blacklist - Version: 1.0
[09 Aug 2016 11:00am]

» 2880823 - Deprecation of SHA-1 Hashing Algorithm for Microsoft Root Certificate Program - Version: 2.0
[18 May 2016 11:00am]

» 3155527 - Update to Cipher Suites for FalseStart - Version: 1.0
[10 May 2016 11:00am]

» 3152550 - Update to Improve Wireless Mouse Input Filtering - Version: 1.1
[22 Apr 2016 11:00am]

» 3137909 - Vulnerabilities in ASP.NET Templates Could Allow Tampering - Version: 1.1
[10 Feb 2016 11:00am]

» 2871997 - Update to Improve Credentials Protection and Management - Version: 5.0
[09 Feb 2016 11:00am]

» 3118753 - Updates for ActiveX Kill Bits 3118753 - Version: 1.0
[12 Jan 2016 11:00am]

» 3109853 - Update to Improve TLS Session Resumption Interoperability - Version: 1.0
[12 Jan 2016 11:00am]

» 2755801 - Update for Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge - Version: 53.0
[05 Jan 2016 11:00am]

» 3057154 - Update to Harden Use of DES Encryption - Version: 1.1
[08 Dec 2015 11:00am]

***


***
Network World Security

» Hackers leak 10 new Orange Is the New Black episodes after Netflix failed to pay ransom
[30 Apr 2017 09:25am]

» NSA ends surveillance tactic that pulled in citizens' emails, texts
[28 Apr 2017 05:23pm]

» Stealthy Mac malware spies on encrypted browser traffic
[28 Apr 2017 02:33pm]

» Google's Chrome will soon start warning you more about HTTP pages
[28 Apr 2017 01:21pm]

» Fight firewall sprawl with AlgoSec, Tufin, Skybox suites
[10 Apr 2017 04:32am]

» Review: Canary Flex security camera lives up to its name
[24 Mar 2017 07:01am]

» Smackdown: Office 365 vs. G Suite management
[16 Mar 2017 07:01am]

» Zix wins 5-vendor email encryption shootout
[13 Mar 2017 04:00am]

» Review: vArmour flips security on its head
[06 Mar 2017 03:50am]

» 5 open source security tools too good to ignore
[21 Feb 2017 07:12am]

» Review: Samsung SmartCam PT network camera
[15 Feb 2017 07:00am]

» Review: Arlo Pro cameras offer true flexibility for home security
[09 Feb 2017 07:01am]

» Face-off: Oracle vs. CA for identity management
[26 Jan 2017 10:30am]

» NSA ends surveillance tactic that pulled in citizens' emails, texts
[28 Apr 2017 05:23pm]

» Stealthy Mac malware spies on encrypted browser traffic
[28 Apr 2017 02:33pm]

***


More IT Security
News Feeds
More Sponsors

Advertise on this site
RSS Feeds
Our news can be syndicated by using these rss feeds.
rss1.0
rss2.0
rdf

NIST.org is in no way connected to the U.S. government site NIST.gov

This site is © John Herron, CISSP. All Rights Reserved.

Please visit daily to stay up to date on all your IT Security compliance issues.

http://www.nist.org -
Hosted by BlueHost. We've never had a better hosting company.
{THEMEDISCLAIMER}