Ransomware Now a For Hire Business
3rd May 2017, Yorkville, IL, US: MrInsurability.com has just learned that yes, the dark web now has cyber-criminals offering their services hacking a company’s systems, just to install ransomware!
Karmen is the name of the latest ransomware being offered by a Russian hacker. For a fee, this cyber-criminal will hack a company and install Karmen ransomware. This ransomware is being advertised on the dark web and it is different from similar software on the market. This new ransomware is even available in a beginner’s pack, for criminals newly engaging in a ransomware campaign!
The Karmen ransomware installation is now being offered through several Russian language hacking forums. According to a current Russian seller, he has taken part in the web design and in designing the control panel.
Experts are calling this a Ransom Service or RaaS, model. It is based on previously released open source codes. One of them is the Hidden Tear, which appeared as an open source ransomware code several months ago. While Karmen is based on the Hidden Tear type of codes, the developers have made a few modifications.
Karmen is able to encrypt the files of the infected device with the use of strong encryption protocols. As a result, the user will not be able to access their files. The malware triggers ransom notes asking the user to make large ransom payments for obtaining decryption keys from the hacker.
When Karmen infects a computer, the victim sees a message that warns them not to interfere with the program. Doing so will damage or alter their files.
The unique feature of Karmen is that criminals are able to control the ransomware from their browsers remotely. In other words, sitting right at home! The attacker is able to view a centralized dashboard of their entire attack via the web.
The dashboard enables the hacker to manage the computers of the victims, allowing them to see the amount of money paid. If the amount is not sufficient in their eyes, the hacker simply increases the ransom price requested.
Karmen ransomware differs from the rest of its competition. It offers full file encryption, along with individual wallet addresses for accepting Bitcoin payments. This is customized for each individual victim affected by the ransomware.
Different also, is the minimal amount of communication required between the command or control servers and the ransomware itself. This makes the ransomware very difficult to trace back to the criminals. After the victim makes the Bitcoin payment, the ransomware is deleted from their system automatically. This is yet another unique change, making it almost impossible to track the perpetrators.
Karmen’s command interface allows the hacker to change the settings with the use of a control panel. As such, the user doesn’t need much technical knowledge to control the ransomware. This makes it easy to use, even for new cyber-criminals.
The Karmen control panel also features a page for tracking victims. The user can literally keep track of the computers that have been victimized. The hacker can easily view relevant information on the dashboard. This would be things like the number of clients, the money earned, updates to the software and so on.
In order to use the Karmen ransomware, the cyber-criminal first buys a membership. After making their payment, the person can access the online control panels located on a dark web site. They can then modify the configurations of the malware according to their preferences.
Ransomware services like Karmen are proving to be very popular among cyber-criminals. It is only natural that cyber-criminals will continue to introduce new types of ransomware like Karmen in the future.
Home and business users alike must update their devices with the latest antivirus solutions, in order to help protect themselves from such threats. In reality, the Karmen RaaS ransomware may not be as powerful as its developers want people to believe. However, as with any other malware, this ransomware cannot be ignored.
Ransomware, as a service for sale, is a very real threat. It is difficult for victims who are not tech savvy to deal with such malware infections. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re in good shape because you have an anti-virus program installed. This is necessary, but far from enough. Cyber-criminals have those beaten the day they come out!
If you’re a business owner, you need the additional protection of data breach insurance! Current statistics still show 6.5 million dollars as the average cost to recover from a breach. Don’t take on a burden like that by yourself. Help is available!
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