Chimera ransomware encrypts files and publishes sensitive data on the internet
The message states in German: “You are victim of the Chimera malware. Your private files are encrypted and can not be restored without a special key file. Some applications may not function properly. Please transfer Bitcoins to the following address to get your unique key file…”
- A new type of ransomware named “Chimera” has been discovered which is targeting companies mainly in Germany.
- In addition to encrypting people’s private files and demanding money for sending the decryption key, attackers now threaten to publish those files (sensitive data, photos, videos) on the Internet if they’re not paid.
- It’s the first time ransomware was found that also threatens to publish personal data.
- The delivery of the ransomware is via email with fake job postings, job applications or businness offers. Emails contain links to malicious files hosted on Dropbox that will infect the user’s computer. The download of the ransomware automatically starts after clicking on the link.
- After infection, Chimera encrypts all kinds of files on the computer and on reboot, it asks the user to pay around €630 or $685 in Bitcoin to obtain the decryption key.
- The ransomware also searches for network drives.
- In addition, Chimera doesn’t use TOR network for payments and delivering decrypter. Instead it uses an uncommon peer-to-peer network (known as BitMessage, which is a communications system that allows messages to be encrypted) to collect data about users and distribute the keys. This makes it a lot more difficult to detect and shut the malicious servers down.
How to prevent?
- Ransomware are often distributed via spam or malicious emails with infectious attachments, fake software updates or over P2P networks.
- It is important to avoid clicking or openening unfamiliar links in emails or on websites.
- Always check the legitimacy of the email with the company that has supposedly sent it.
- Ensure that you have up-to-date anti-virus software and perform periodic scans.
- Ensure you are regularly backing up your important data.
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