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-2015-0249 (roller)
The weblog page template in Apache Roller 5.1 through 5.1.1 allows remote authenticated users with a ...
»CVE-2015-0674
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Alert Service of Cisco Cloud Web Security base revis ...
»CVE-2015-0904
The Restaurant Karaoke SHIDAX app 1.3.3 and earlier on Android does not verify SSL certificates, whi ...
»CVE-2015-1323 (ubuntu_linux)
The simulate dbus method in aptdaemon before 1.1.1+bzr982-0ubuntu3.1 as packaged in Ubuntu 15.04, be ...
»CVE-2015-1332
The oxide::JavaScriptDialogManager function in oxide-qt before 1.9.1 as packaged in Ubuntu 15.04 and ...
»CVE-2015-1417
The inet module in FreeBSD 10.2x before 10.2-PRERELEASE, 10.2-BETA2-p2, 10.2-RC1-p1, 10.1x before 10 ...
»CVE-2015-1438
Heap-based buffer overflow in Panda Security Kernel Memory Access Driver 1.0.0.13 allows attackers t ...
»CVE-2015-1847
Directory traversal vulnerability in the web request/response interface in Appserver before 1.0.3 al ...
»CVE-2015-2279
cgi_test.cgi in AirLive BU-2015 with firmware 1.03.18, BU-3026 with firmware 1.43, and MD-3025 with ...
»CVE-2015-2280
snwrite.cgi in AirLink101 SkyIPCam1620W Wireless N MPEG4 3GPP network camera with firmware FW_AIC1620W_1.1.0-12_20120709_r1192.pck allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary OS commands via shell metacharacters in the mac parameter.
»CVE-2015-2798
SQL injection vulnerability in Joomla! Component Contact Form Maker 1.0.1 allows remote attackers to ...
»CVE-2015-3149
The Hotspot component in OpenJDK8 as packaged in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 allows local users ...
»CVE-2015-3170 (selinux)
selinux-policy when sysctl fs.protected_hardlinks are set to 0 allows local users to cause a denial ...
»CVE-2015-3171
sosreport 3.2 uses weak permissions for generated sosreport archives, which allows local users with ...
»CVE-2015-3208
XML external entity (XXE) vulnerability in the XPath selector component in Artemis ActiveMQ before c ...


Date published: 2017-07-27T20:00:34Z
Details

»McAfee Releases Security Bulletin for Web Gateway
Original release date: July 27, 2017 McAfee has released a security bulletin to address multi ...
»Cisco Releases Security Updates
Original release date: July 27, 2017 Cisco has released updates to address several vulnerabil ...
»Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome
Original release date: July 26, 2017 | Last revised: July 27, 2017 Google has released Chrome ...
»Joomla! Releases Security Update
Original release date: July 25, 2017 Joomla! has released version 3.7.4 of its Content Manage ...
»IBM Cisco Security Update
Original release date: July 21, 2017 IBM has released a security update to address some vulne ...
»Cisco Releases Security Update
Original release date: July 20, 2017 Cisco has released a security update to address a vulner ...
»Apple Releases Security Updates
Original release date: July 19, 2017 Apple has released security updates to address vulnerabi ...
»Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
Original release date: July 18, 2017 Oracle has released its Critical Patch Update for July 2017 to address 308 vulnerabilities across multiple products. Exploitation of some of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.Users and administrators are encouraged to review the Oracle July 2017 Critical Patch Update and apply the necessary updates. This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.
»Cisco Releases Security Updates
Original release date: July 17, 2017 Cisco has released security updates to address a vulnera ...
»FBI Releases Article on Privacy Risks Associated with Internet-Connected Children's Toys
Original release date: July 17, 2017 The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released a ...


Date published: not known
Details

»NoMoreRansom's first birthday demonstrates importance of collaboration
This week the NoMoreRansom project celebrated its first birthday. I ...
»VB2017 call for last-minute papers opened
Today, we open the call for last-minute papers for VB2017. Submit b ...
»Five reasons to come to VB2017 in Madrid
We're not ones to make bold claims about our conference, and we sug ...
»DMARC: an imperfect solution that can make a big difference
US Senator Ron Wyden has asked the Department of Homeland Security ...
»Advanced and inept persistent threats to be discussed at VB2017
Unsurprisingly given today's threat landscape, the VB2017 programme ...
»Password security is 1% choosing a half-decent password, 99% not using it anywhere else
Password security advice focuses too much on password strength and ...
»Save the dates: VB2018 to take place 3-5 October 2018
Though the location will remain a secret for a few more months, we ...
»Review: BSides Athens 2017
The second edition of BSides Athens saw a great and varied programm ...
»Let's not help attackers by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt
Spreading 'FUD' in the wake of cyber-attacks is never a good idea. ...


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

» McAfee Releases Security Bulletin for Web Gateway
[27 Jul 2017 09:08am]

» Cisco Releases Security Updates
[27 Jul 2017 09:01am]

» Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome
[26 Jul 2017 12:43pm]

» Joomla! Releases Security Update
[25 Jul 2017 04:55pm]

» IBM Cisco Security Update
[21 Jul 2017 08:02am]

» Cisco Releases Security Update
[20 Jul 2017 10:24am]

» Apple Releases Security Updates
[19 Jul 2017 01:12pm]

» Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
[18 Jul 2017 02:03pm]

» Cisco Releases Security Updates
[17 Jul 2017 03:26pm]

» FBI Releases Article on Privacy Risks Associated with Internet-Connected Children's Toys
[17 Jul 2017 11:37am]

***
US-CERT Alerts

» TA17-181A: Petya Ransomware
[30 Jun 2017 11:41pm]

» TA17-164A: HIDDEN COBRA – North Korea’s DDoS Botnet Infrastructure
[13 Jun 2017 09:45am]

» TA17-163A: CrashOverride Malware
[12 Jun 2017 03:44pm]

» TA17-156A: Reducing the Risk of SNMP Abuse
[05 Jun 2017 06:11pm]

» TA17-132A: Indicators Associated With WannaCry Ransomware
[12 May 2017 07:36pm]

» 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]

***
Computerworld Security

» Microsoft releases KB 3213643, 2956078, 4011078, 4011052 to fix June Outlook security bugs
[27 Jul 2017 03:00pm]

» Tiptoe through the bugs and get Windows and Office updated
[26 Jul 2017 10:55am]

» Wasn't this supposed to speed things up?
[26 Jul 2017 04:00am]

» Simple tips to keep your devices secure when you travel
[25 Jul 2017 11:00pm]

» The big secret behind Google Play Protect on Android
[25 Jul 2017 10:04am]

» The fate of Apple's Touch ID | Tech Talk Ep 1
[25 Jul 2017 05:00am]

» The paranoid Android traveler’s data-protection checklist
[25 Jul 2017 04:01am]

» How DevOps and cloud will speed up security
[24 Jul 2017 11:00pm]

» Stop blaming users for security misses
[24 Jul 2017 11:00pm]

» Where are the fixes to the botched Outlook security patches?
[21 Jul 2017 06:39am]

» Tech Talk: Azure Stack, cyberattacks, the next iPhone and ... keyboards
[20 Jul 2017 10:00am]

» Tech Talk: The latest on Azure Stack, cyberattacks, the next iPhone and ... keyboards
[20 Jul 2017 10:00am]

» More June security patch bugs: You can patch an IE flaw, CVE-2017-8529, or print inside iFrames—but not both
[19 Jul 2017 01:00pm]

» Verifying and testing that Firefox is restricted to TLS 1.2
[16 Jul 2017 01:56pm]

» Microsoft yanks bad Outlook patches of patches KB 3191849, 3213654, 401042
[15 Jul 2017 02:16pm]

***
Microsoft Security Advisories

» 4033453 - Vulnerability in Azure AD Connect Could Allow Elevation of Privilege - Version: 1.0
[27 Jun 2017 11:00am]

» 4010323 - Deprecation of SHA-1 for SSL/TLS Certificates in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 - Version: 1.0
[23 Jun 2017 11:00am]

» 4025685 - Guidance related to June 2017 security update release - Version: 1.0
[13 Jun 2017 11:00am]

» 4022345 - Identifying and correcting failure of Windows Update client to receive updates - Version: 1.3
[12 May 2017 11:00am]

» 4022344 - Security Update for Microsoft Malware Protection Engine - Version: 1.2
[12 May 2017 11:00am]

» 4021279 - Vulnerabilities in .NET Core, ASP.NET Core Could Allow Elevation of Privilege - Version: 1.1
[10 May 2017 11:00am]

» 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]

***
Security Latest

» How a Broadpwn Wi-Fi Vulnerability Impacted a Billion iPhones and Android Phones
[27 Jul 2017 03:53pm]

» One Billion Daily WhatsApp Users Prove Privacy Isn't Dead
[27 Jul 2017 12:04pm]

» _Reply All_'s Latest Episode Tackles Phone Scammers
[27 Jul 2017 08:43am]

» The Trump-Russia Scandal's Many Swirling Unknowns
[27 Jul 2017 05:00am]

» Hacker Warns Radioactivity Sensors Can Be Spoofed Or Disabled
[26 Jul 2017 07:29pm]

» Lipizzan Malware Could Take Over Android Devices Until Google Shut It Down
[26 Jul 2017 06:44pm]

» A New Toolkit Hopes to Fix the SS7 Flaws That Plague Cell networks
[26 Jul 2017 02:37pm]

» Rep. Blake Farenthold's Early '90s Internet Message Board Posts Show a Whole New Side
[26 Jul 2017 08:59am]

» Anti-Drone Tools Tested: From Shotguns To Superdrones
[26 Jul 2017 06:00am]

» Asomándonos a la Revolución Cubana de Internet Hecha por los Propios C
[26 Jul 2017 04:00am]

» Inside Cuba's D.I.Y. Internet Revolution
[26 Jul 2017 04:00am]

» Popular Remote Administrative Tools Turn Out to Be Easily Hacked
[25 Jul 2017 11:08am]

» Jared Kushner's Senate Testimony May Forget Russia Meetings, But the FBI Would Remember
[24 Jul 2017 02:40pm]

» A 'Locked' Smart Gun Can Be Fired With Just $15 Worth of Magnets
[24 Jul 2017 12:06pm]

» ShieldFS Is a Clever New Tool That Shuts Down Ransomware Before It's Too Late
[24 Jul 2017 11:12am]

***
Network World Security

» True random numbers are here — what that means for data centers
[27 Jul 2017 07:06am]

» IDG Contributor Network: Can SD-WANs meet standards requirements?
[26 Jul 2017 09:00am]

» Unix: How random is random?
[17 Jul 2017 09:01am]

» IBM touts full data encryption in new Z series mainframes
[17 Jul 2017 08:23am]

» Gravityscan, keeping WordPress sites safe
[24 May 2017 02:34pm]

» Network monitoring tools: Features users love and hate
[01 May 2017 04:51am]

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

» 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]

» 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]

» IDG Contributor Network: Can SD-WANs meet standards requirements?
[26 Jul 2017 09:00am]

» Simple tips to keep your devices secure when you travel
[25 Jul 2017 11:00pm]

***


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}