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-2014-2045 (multichannel_vpn_router_300_firmware)
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the 'old' and 'new' interfaces in Viprinet Mu ...
»CVE-2014-9754 (multichannel_vpn_router_300_firmware)
The hardware VPN client in Viprinet MultichannelVPN Router 300 verison 2013070830/2013080900 does no ...
»CVE-2014-9755 (multichannel_vpn_router_300_firmware)
The hardware VPN client in Viprinet MultichannelVPN Router 300 verison 2013070830/2013080900 does no ...
»CVE-2014-9909 (android)
An elevation of privilege vulnerability in the Broadcom Wi-Fi driver could enable a local malicious ...
»CVE-2014-9910 (android)
An elevation of privilege vulnerability in the Broadcom Wi-Fi driver could enable a local malicious ...
»CVE-2014-9913 (unzip)
Buffer overflow in the list_files function in list.c in Info-Zip UnZip 6.0 allows remote attackers t ...
»CVE-2015-8212 (netbsd)
CGI handling flaw in bozohttpd in NetBSD 6.0 through 6.0.6, 6.1 through 6.1.5, and 7.0 allows remote ...
»CVE-2015-8667 (exponent_cms)
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Reset Your Password module in Exponent CMS before 2.3.5 ...
»CVE-2015-8684 (exponent_cms)
Exponent CMS before 2.3.7 does not properly restrict the types of files that can be uploaded, which ...
»CVE-2016-10075 (tqdm)
The tqdm._version module in tqdm versions 4.4.1 and 4.10 allows local users to execute arbitrary cod ...
»CVE-2016-10086 (service_desk_management, service_desk_manager)
RESTful web services in CA Service Desk Manager 12.9 and CA Service Desk Management 14.1 might allow ...
»CVE-2016-10143 (tikiwiki_cms/groupware)
A vulnerability in Tiki Wiki CMS 15.2 could allow a remote attacker to read arbitrary files on a tar ...
»CVE-2016-10147 (linux_kernel)
crypto/mcryptd.c in the Linux kernel before 4.8.15 allows local users to cause a denial of service ( ...
»CVE-2016-10148 (wordpress)
The wp_ajax_update_plugin function in wp-admin/includes/ajax-actions.php in WordPress before 4.6 mak ...
»CVE-2016-2087 (hexchat)
Directory traversal vulnerability in the client in HexChat 2.11.0 allows remote IRC servers to read ...


Date published: 2017-01-21T06:00:01Z
Details

»IC3 Warns of Employment Scams Targeting College Students
Original release date: January 19, 2017 The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued ...
»Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
Original release date: January 18, 2017 Oracle has released its Critical Patch Update for Jan ...
»SMB Security Best Practices
Original release date: January 16, 2017 | Last revised: January 17, 2017 In response to publi ...
»ISC Releases Security Updates for BIND
Original release date: January 11, 2017 The Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) has released up ...
»Adobe Releases Security Updates
Original release date: January 10, 2017 Adobe has released security updates to address vulner ...
»Microsoft Releases January 2017 Security Bulletin
Original release date: January 10, 2017 Microsoft has released four updates to address vulner ...
»GRIZZLY STEPPE - Russian Malicious Cyber Activity
Original release date: December 29, 2016 | Last revised: December 30, 2016 The Department of ...
»Mozilla Releases Security Update
Original release date: December 28, 2016 Mozilla has released a security update to address mu ...
»FTC Releases Alert on Fake Apps for Mobile Devices
Original release date: December 22, 2016 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an a ...
»Cisco Releases Security Updates
Original release date: December 22, 2016 Cisco has released security updates to address a vul ...


Date published: not known
Details

»Call for Papers: VB2017
We have opened the Call for Papers for VB2017. We are particularly ...
»Ransomware not a problem for half of businesses
According to a report by IBM Security, 70 per cent of businesses th ...
»Ransomware would be much worse if it wasn't for email security solutions
The latest VBSpam test brings good news: at least 199 out of every ...
»Throwback Thursday: The malware battle: reflections and forecasts
"Another year has come to its end and the malware battle still ...
»VB2016 paper: Open Source Malware Lab
At VB2016, ThreatConnect Director of Research Innovation Robert Sim ...
»A Christmas present for the security community
As a Christmas present for the security community, we have uploaded ...
»Paper: Spreading techniques used by malware
In a new paper published by Virus Bulletin, Acalvio researcher Abhi ...
»VB2016 video: On the StrongPity waterhole attacks targeting Italian and Belgian encryption users
At VB2016, Kaspersky Lab researcher Kurt Baumgartner delivered a pr ...
»Conference review: Botconf 2016
Three members of the Virus Bulletin team attended the Botconf 2016 ...


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

» IC3 Warns of Employment Scams Targeting College Students
[19 Jan 2017 05:19pm]

» Oracle Releases Security Bulletin
[18 Jan 2017 11:04am]

» SMB Security Best Practices
[16 Jan 2017 09:45pm]

» ISC Releases Security Updates for BIND
[11 Jan 2017 07:52pm]

» Adobe Releases Security Updates
[10 Jan 2017 02:07pm]

» Microsoft Releases January 2017 Security Bulletin
[10 Jan 2017 02:01pm]

» GRIZZLY STEPPE - Russian Malicious Cyber Activity
[29 Dec 2016 12:21pm]

» Mozilla Releases Security Update
[28 Dec 2016 06:29pm]

» FTC Releases Alert on Fake Apps for Mobile Devices
[22 Dec 2016 08:02pm]

» Cisco Releases Security Updates
[22 Dec 2016 06:56pm]

***
US-CERT Alerts

» 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]

» TA15-337A: Dorkbot
[03 Dec 2015 04:40pm]

» TA15-314A: Compromised Web Servers and Web Shells - Threat Awareness and Guidance
[10 Nov 2015 06:12pm]

***
Computerworld Security

» Researchers propose a way to use your heartbeat as a password
[20 Jan 2017 03:53pm]

» 7 (more) security TED Talks you can’t miss
[20 Jan 2017 12:20pm]

» Spanish police nab suspect behind Neverquest banking malware
[20 Jan 2017 12:03pm]

» Trump nominee suggests IRS cybersecurity and staffing boosts
[20 Jan 2017 09:02am]

» Google pushed developers to fix security flaws in 275K Android apps
[20 Jan 2017 08:51am]

» Microsoft’s standing to sue over secret U.S. data requests in doubt
[20 Jan 2017 12:29am]

» Wikileaks' Assange wants to discuss extradition with the feds
[19 Jan 2017 03:06pm]

» Encrypted email service ProtonMail is now accessible over Tor
[19 Jan 2017 01:43pm]

» Tips on where to start in managing risk
[19 Jan 2017 12:27pm]

» IDG Contributor Network: Ransomware takes a nasty turn
[19 Jan 2017 10:14am]

» Attackers start wiping data from CouchDB and Hadoop databases
[19 Jan 2017 08:32am]

» CIA updates rules for collecting and retaining info on Americans
[19 Jan 2017 04:57am]

» You still can’t turn off Windows 10’s built-in spyware
[19 Jan 2017 04:54am]

» Mac malware is found targeting biomedical research
[19 Jan 2017 04:40am]

» Fraud for online holiday sales spikes by 31%
[18 Jan 2017 01:24pm]

***
Microsoft Security Advisories

» 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]

» 3123479 - Deprecation of SHA-1 Hashing Algorithm for Microsoft Root Certificate Program - Version: 1.0
[12 Jan 2016 11:00am]

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

» 3118753 - Updates for ActiveX Kill Bits 3118753 - 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]

» 3123040 - Inadvertently Disclosed Digital Certificate Could Allow Spoofing - Version: 1.0
[08 Dec 2015 11:00am]

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

***
WIRED

» It’s About To Get Even Easier to Hide on the Dark Web
[20 Jan 2017 05:00am]

» Meitu, a Viral Anime Makeover App, Has Major Privacy Red Flags
[19 Jan 2017 05:44pm]

» UFOs, Psychics, and Spies: The CIA Just Put 12M Pages of Files Online. Start Here
[19 Jan 2017 01:27pm]

» Connected Devices Give Spies a Powerful New Way to Surveil
[19 Jan 2017 07:00am]

» A Wall Alone Can’t Secure the Border, No Matter Who Pays for It
[19 Jan 2017 05:00am]

» Squirrels Keep Menacing the Power Grid. But at Least It’s Not the Russians
[18 Jan 2017 05:00am]

» Obama Will Free Chelsea Manning, a Final Ceasefire in His War on Leakers
[17 Jan 2017 03:49pm]

» What Better Way for the Marines to Prepare for Future Wars Than With Sci-Fi?
[15 Jan 2017 05:00am]

» Security News This Week: Hackers Hack a Major Dealer of Hacking Tools
[14 Jan 2017 05:00am]

» How America Can Beat Russia in Cyber War, Despite Trump
[14 Jan 2017 05:00am]

***
Network World Security

» Lavabit developer has a new encrypted, end-to-end email protocol
[20 Jan 2017 07:04pm]

» Researchers propose a way to use your heartbeat as a password
[20 Jan 2017 02:46pm]

» The CSO guide to top security conferences
[20 Jan 2017 12:24pm]

» Trump nominee suggests IRS cybersecurity and staffing boosts
[20 Jan 2017 12:23pm]

» Review: Microsoft Windows Defender comes up short
[03 Jan 2017 10:48am]

» Inside 3 top threat hunting tools
[19 Dec 2016 04:00am]

» Review: Threat hunting turns the tables on attackers
[19 Dec 2016 04:00am]

» The Ring Stick Up Cam. Don't bother.
[13 Dec 2016 12:33pm]

» 4 top disaster recovery packages compared
[06 Dec 2016 06:02am]

» Beat the bad guys at their own game with SafeBreach’s simulated cyberattacks
[31 Oct 2016 04:15am]

» REVIEW: BIO-key’s plug-in fingerprint readers for Windows 10 computers
[25 Oct 2016 05:59am]

» Better safe than sorry: 5 apps for encrypting and shredding files
[24 Oct 2016 05:59am]

» Roqos Core router combines cybersecurity with parental controls
[18 Oct 2016 07:01am]

» Researchers propose a way to use your heartbeat as a password
[20 Jan 2017 02:46pm]

» The CSO guide to top security conferences
[20 Jan 2017 12:24pm]

***


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}