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-2015-6289 (ios)
Cisco IOS 15.5(3)M on Integrated Services Router (ISR) 800, 819, and 829 devices allows remote attac ...
»CVE-2015-7473
runmqsc in IBM WebSphere MQ 8.x before 8.0.0.5 allows local users to bypass intended queue-manager c ...
»CVE-2015-7987
Multiple buffer overflows in mDNSResponder before 625.41.2 allow remote attackers to read or write t ...
»CVE-2015-7988
The handle_regservice_request function in mDNSResponder before 625.41.2 allows remote attackers to e ...
»CVE-2016-0259
runmqsc in IBM WebSphere MQ 8.x before 8.0.0.5 allows local users to bypass an intended +dsp authori ...
»CVE-2016-0277
Heap-based buffer overflow in the KeyView PDF filter in IBM Domino 8.5.x before 8.5.3 FP6 IF13 and 9 ...
»CVE-2016-0278
Heap-based buffer overflow in the KeyView PDF filter in IBM Domino 8.5.x before 8.5.3 FP6 IF13 and 9 ...
»CVE-2016-0279
Heap-based buffer overflow in the KeyView PDF filter in IBM Domino 8.5.x before 8.5.3 FP6 IF13 and 9 ...
»CVE-2016-0301
Heap-based buffer overflow in the KeyView PDF filter in IBM Domino 8.5.x before 8.5.3 FP6 IF13 and 9 ...
»CVE-2016-0914 (documentum_administrator, documentum_capital_projects, documentum_taskspace, documentum_webtop)
EMC Documentum WebTop 6.8 before Patch 13 and 6.8.1 before Patch 02, Documentum Administrator 7.x be ...
»CVE-2016-1188
Cybozu Garoon 3.x and 4.x before 4.2.1 allows remote authenticated users to send spoofed e-mail mess ...
»CVE-2016-1189
Cybozu Garoon 3.x and 4.x before 4.2.1 allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended restrict ...
»CVE-2016-1190
Cybozu Garoon 3.1 through 4.2 allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended restrictions on M ...
»CVE-2016-1193
Cybozu Garoon 3.7 through 4.2 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive email-reading information ...
»CVE-2016-1428 (ios_xe)
Double free vulnerability in Cisco IOS XE 3.15S, 3.16S, and 3.17S allows remote authenticated users ...


Date published: 2016-06-27T04:50:00Z
Details

»IRS Announces Safeguards to Protect Taxpayer Information
Original release date: June 24, 2016 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued two news r ...
»WordPress Releases Security Update
Original release date: June 22, 2016 WordPress 4.5.2 and prior versions are affected by sever ...
»Apple Releases Security Update
Original release date: June 21, 2016 Apple has released a security update to address a vulner ...
»Google Releases Security Update for Chrome
Original release date: June 17, 2016 Google has released Chrome version 51.0.2704.103 to addr ...
»Adobe Releases Security Updates
Original release date: June 16, 2016 Adobe has released security updates to address vulnerabi ...
»Cisco Releases Security Updates
Original release date: June 15, 2016 Cisco has released security updates to address vulnerabi ...
»VMware Releases Security Updates
Original release date: June 15, 2016 VMware has released security updates to address a vulner ...
»Microsoft Releases June 2016 Security Bulletin
Original release date: June 14, 2016 Microsoft has released 16 updates to address vulnerabili ...
»Adobe Releases Security Updates
Original release date: June 14, 2016 Adobe has released security updates to address vulnerabi ...
»VMware Releases Security Updates
Original release date: June 10, 2016 VMware has released security updates to address vulnerab ...


Date published: not known
Details

»VB2015 paper: DDoS Trojan: A Malicious Concept that Conquered the ELF Format
In their VB2015 paper, Peter Kálnai and Jaromír Hořejší look at the ...
»Throwback Thursday: Hyppönen, that Data Fellow / Finnish Sprayer
This week, well known and universally respected industry guru Mikko ...
»VB2015 paper: Economic Sanctions on Malware
Financial pressure can be a proactive and potentially very effectiv ...
»Virus Bulletin's job site for recruiters and job seekers
Virus Bulletin has relaunched its security job vacancy service and ...
»Throwback Thursday: One_Half: The Lieutenant Commander?
In October 1994, a new multi-partite virus appeared, using some of ...
»Advertisements on Blogspot sites lead to support scam
Support scam pop-ups presented through malicious advertisements sho ...
»To make Tor work better on the web, we need to be honest about it
Many websites put barriers in front of visitors who use the Tor net ...
»Paper: How It Works: Steganography Hides Malware in Image Files
A new paper by CYREN researcher Lordian Mosuela takes a close look ...
»Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people to never do it is unhelpful advice
The current ransomware plague is one of the worst threats the Inter ...


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

» IRS Announces Safeguards to Protect Taxpayer Information
[24 Jun 2016 05:02pm]

» WordPress Releases Security Update
[22 Jun 2016 06:42am]

» Apple Releases Security Update
[21 Jun 2016 06:56am]

» Google Releases Security Update for Chrome
[16 Jun 2016 11:32pm]

» Adobe Releases Security Updates
[16 Jun 2016 07:55pm]

» Cisco Releases Security Updates
[15 Jun 2016 06:32pm]

» VMware Releases Security Updates
[15 Jun 2016 10:40am]

» Microsoft Releases June 2016 Security Bulletin
[14 Jun 2016 11:38am]

» Adobe Releases Security Updates
[14 Jun 2016 11:08am]

» VMware Releases Security Updates
[10 Jun 2016 11:37am]

***
US-CERT Alerts

» 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]

» TA15-286A: Dridex P2P Malware
[13 Oct 2015 05:23am]

» TA15-240A: Controlling Outbound DNS Access
[28 Aug 2015 11:31am]

» TA15-213A: Recent Email Phishing Campaigns – Mitigation and Response Recommendations
[01 Aug 2015 04:01pm]

» TA15-195A: Adobe Flash and Microsoft Windows Vulnerabilities
[14 Jul 2015 05:13pm]

***
Computerworld Security

» The EU and U.S. reach data-transfer deal, report says
[24 Jun 2016 09:45am]

» Lenovo patches two high-severity flaws in PC support tool
[24 Jun 2016 08:18am]

» U.S. court rules that FBI can hack into a computer without a warrant
[24 Jun 2016 04:36am]

» Lessons and observations from the GoToMyPC incident
[23 Jun 2016 10:06pm]

» Why Russian hackers were likely behind the DNC breach
[23 Jun 2016 02:31pm]

» GozNym Trojan targets business accounts at major U.S. banks
[23 Jun 2016 12:58pm]

» AWS and Azure clouds gain security OK from feds
[23 Jun 2016 09:38am]

» BlackBerry goes into the red as revenue drops by a third
[23 Jun 2016 09:24am]

» The number of corporate users hit by crypto ransomware is skyrocketing
[23 Jun 2016 09:18am]

» A look inside the Microsoft Local Administrator Password Solution
[23 Jun 2016 04:00am]

» Mobile advertiser tracked users' locations without their consent, FTC alleges
[22 Jun 2016 12:49pm]

» Think tanks mull Geneva Convention for cybercrime
[22 Jun 2016 11:12am]

» Severe flaws in widely used archive library put many projects at risk
[22 Jun 2016 08:02am]

» Google concerned about curious but destructive cleaning robots that hack reward systems
[22 Jun 2016 07:53am]

» Microsoft invokes Supreme Court opinion in Ireland email case
[22 Jun 2016 03:41am]

***
Microsoft Security Advisories

» 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]

» 3119884 - Inadvertently Disclosed Digital Certificates Could Allow Spoofing - Version: 1.0
[30 Nov 2015 11:00am]

» 3108638 - Update for Windows Hyper-V to Address CPU Weakness - Version: 1.0
[10 Nov 2015 11:00am]

» 3097966 - Inadvertently Disclosed Digital Certificates Could Allow Spoofing - Version: 2.0
[13 Oct 2015 11:00am]

» 2960358 - Update for Disabling RC4 in .NET TLS - Version: 2.0
[13 Oct 2015 11:00am]

***
WIRED

» So Hey You Should Stop Using Texts for Two-Factor Authentication
[26 Jun 2016 05:00am]

» Security News This Week: Brexit Edition (Hey, at Least Bitcoin Is OK)
[25 Jun 2016 05:00am]

» A Bug in Chrome Makes It Easy to Pirate Movies
[24 Jun 2016 05:00am]

» Hey, Congress, Here’s How You Use Periscope
[22 Jun 2016 02:52pm]

» House Dems Take to Twitter to Let You See Their Gun-Control Sit-In
[22 Jun 2016 11:08am]

» After Orlando, the Homemade AR-15 Industry Surges
[22 Jun 2016 05:00am]

» Security News This Week: Anonymous Hacks ISIS Twitter With Gay Pride
[19 Jun 2016 05:00am]

» Silk Road Prosecutors Argue Ross Ulbricht Doesn’t Deserve a New Trial
[18 Jun 2016 03:53pm]

» Orlando Shows the Limits of Facebook’s Terror Policing
[17 Jun 2016 06:38am]

» How Does the FBI Watch List Work? And Could It Have Prevented Orlando?
[17 Jun 2016 05:00am]

***
Network World Security

» Intel is said to mull sale of its security business
[26 Jun 2016 08:51pm]

» State Department turned off spam filters for Hillary Clinton
[26 Jun 2016 08:52am]

» Researchers steal data from a PC by controllng the noise from the fans
[24 Jun 2016 12:58pm]

» The EU and US reportedly reach data-transfer deal
[24 Jun 2016 09:15am]

» Buyer’s Guide to 9 multi-factor authentication products
[06 Jun 2016 04:00am]

» 5 trends shaking up multi-factor authentication
[06 Jun 2016 04:00am]

» 9-vendor authentication roundup: The good, the bad and the ugly
[06 Jun 2016 04:00am]

» Review: Hot new tools to fight insider threats
[31 May 2016 04:00am]

» 3 top tools to fight insider threats
[31 May 2016 04:00am]

» SIEM review: Splunk, ArcSight, LogRhythm and QRadar
[09 May 2016 02:00pm]

» What users love (and hate) about 4 leading firewall solutions
[25 Apr 2016 01:48pm]

» 10 no-cost home security mobile apps worth a download
[01 Apr 2016 06:39am]

» 7 VPN services for hotspot protection
[14 Mar 2016 04:00am]

» State Department turned off spam filters for Hillary Clinton
[26 Jun 2016 08:52am]

» Researchers steal data from a PC by controllng the noise from the fans
[24 Jun 2016 12:58pm]

***


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}