Game of Thrones-referencing ransomware strikes Ukraine and Russia.
The latest strain of ransomware is taking down systems across Russia and the Ukraine, apparently targeting large websites and mass transit systems such as the Odessa airport and the Kiev metro. Dubbed Bad Rabbit, its basic method is much like other infamous titles that caused major problems in recent months: pay the ransom and you’ll get access back.
“According to our data, most of the victims targeted by these attacks are located in Russia,” Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky at Kaspersky Lab told the BBC. “We have also seen similar but fewer attacks in Ukraine, Turkey and Germany.”
Adobe Flash Player
One source has stated that Bad Rabbit is being spread via a fraudulent Adobe Flash Player update that waits on infected websites, while another security firm has said many anti-virus titles aren’t yet able to detect Bad Rabbit. Thought to be an offshoot of Petya ransomware, this one directs victims to make payment in Bitcoin (slightly less than $300US) within the preset time limit, or the ransom increases.
Update your AV software – now!
As always, US officials are urging victims not to pay the ransom as there is no guarantee whatsoever that the hackers will give you the encryption key. This recent attack serves as a warning on multiple fronts: keep your AV software up-to-date, only install your updates from trusted sources rather than on the say-so of another website, and back everything up on an external hard drive in case the worst happens anyway. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is urging people to report any incidences of Bad Rabbit to the FBI.