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Security Research

“Doxware”- Evolution of Ransomware, a new form of malware threat for 2017

As security controls and defense measures for computer systems become more sophisticated, cyber criminals have taken one step ahead in the world of Ransomware. The most profitable ransomware attacks has taken a leap with doxing.

What is Doxware ?

“Ransomware is the art of encrypting data on a network, users PC or Mac and asking for a ransom amount to decrypt it. With Doxware the criminals encrypt the data locally on the network and also copy the same to their own server and ask for ransom. If ransom is not paid then the sensitive information is posted publicly.”

The threat has increased two fold with Doxware with the risk of sensitive information going public if ransom is not paid.

Earlier if companies or individuals who regularly backed up  their systems could easily wipe off and rebuild their machines if infected by ransomware. But now users who are a victim of the ransomware attacks are forced to pay the ransom to protect the reputation and sensitive information.

Malwarebytes was one of the first companies to report on this issue and they have identified at least 5 different variants of Doxware in the recent months since mid of last year. Doxware is not widespread as much as ransomware for now but this is predicted to increase during 2017 for targeted.

It’s very effective and a easy money for criminals by holding the victim hostage with their data. Currently only windows versions have been discovered as per Malwarebytes and it won’t be long before other operating systems are caught up. Universities, Government agencies, hospitals and many such sectors  may end up paying instead of fighting against it as it’s a matter of sensitive data of going public verses money.

Prevention:

There is no fool proof prevention at this point but companies like Malwarebytes and Kaspersky have known definitions to stop some of the variants. Ultimately the end user must be cautious when clicking links while on the internet,  have AV installed , have the latest patches for their Operating systems and possibly use a reputation based url checker integrated with their browsers.

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First Mac malware of 2017 Quimitchin /Fruitfly was discovered targeting biomedical research centers

Security researchers from Malwarebytes have identified strange traffic originating from a Mac. The unusual traffic was identified by IT admins when investigated led to espionage malware describes as Quimitchin. (Apple calls this as ‘Fruitfly’) The malware appears to have been existed for a while and undetected for quite a long time. One of the timestamp […]
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WhatsApp vulnerability is real and Facebook claim of end-to-end encryption doesn’t work

After Guardian’s post early on Whats App vulnerability was published last week, security experts from all over the word have been discussing the validity of this vulnerability and intensions behind it. Facebook denied this as a vulnerability going against Guardian and the intension behind it as design decision. However some of the most respected security […]
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Approx. 68 million Dropbox accounts available to download by anyone wordwide

During the month of August, motherboard one of prominent online magazine released a report that more than 60 million account details were stolen from the cloud storage provider Dropbox. However now approx. 68 million Dropbox accounts are available to download by anyone.( Exact number as publish on ibtimes :68,680,741 accounts) During the month of September, […]
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WhatsApp, aka Facebook was sued in India by two college students due to concerns over Privacy

After the recent changes to privacy policy on WhatsApp , people around the world feels to have betrayed by Facebook’s decision. To challenge this, two students from India have filed a legal challenge against Facebook to roll back changes to Whats App policy, which is threatening the rights of millions of users in India. The […]
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Steps to Change your Whatsapp Settings before Facebook Begins Sharing data  – Android & Iphone

From the first time you see the privacy policy update screen on WhatsApp ( both iPhone & Android phones) , you have 30 days to click through and agree or not agree to Facebook, using your Whatsapp data to suggest friends and serve ads hampering your experience. We highly recommended to follow the below steps to help privacy invasion by […]
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Windows 10 – Evil to the Core for Privacy and pain for the users

Last evening I left my desktop running the whole night on a photoshop job. Today morning my desktop was showing “blue screen of death ” with a message and a hung desktop. “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart, we’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you” Microsoft […]
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YiSpecter malware can infect non Jailbroken iOS devices

Palo Alto Networks has detected a malware capable of attacking even those non-jailbroken iOS devices. The researchers have named the malware as YiSpecter. It follows unique methods that involves exploiting private APIs in iOS and infecting them. Private APIs are undocumented by Apple and, therefore, avoid being detected. Apple’s App Store has around 100 such […]
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Thousands of medical systems are exposed to widespread cyber-attacks – Derbycon

Recent reports presented by Scott Erven and Mark Collao at Derbycon have revealed that thousands of medical systems are exposed to widespread cyber-attacks. The researchers reported that a giant U.S. medical organization with 12,000 staff and 3,000 physicians has over 68,000 systems that are vulnerable. The researchers indicate that this is just the tip of […]
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An exploit can completely bypasses Mac’s malware Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper is the security feature of Mac OS X that protects users from malicious applications and code execution on their Mac computers. It warns Mac users from installing unsigned apps or the ones downloaded through an unencrypted connection. Gatekeeper does an efficient job of preventing the installation of Trojans and applications with malicious codes. However, […]
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