In our series discussing the various types of Bitcoin ransomware in existence to date, the next ones on the list are CryptoLocker F and TorrentLocker. Both of these nasty pieces of software started appearing around the same time, and there are certain parallels between both types of ransomware/ However, CryptoLocker F has no relation to the original CryptoLocker ransomware.
CryptoLocker F and TorrentLocker
Things had quieted down on the Bitcoin ransomware front when law enforcement agencies managed to remove the cancer known as CryptoLocker from the Internet. However, that piece of mind did not last all that long, as two new types start appearing by the end of September 2014. Especially Australian businesses and agencies were targeted for some unknown reason.
Similar to how the original ransomware spread itself, malicious emails containing a specific website link were to blame for this problem. Keeping in mind how the emails made mention of a failed parcel delivery,most people simply clicked the link to check what this was all about. A big mistake on their end, as thousands of computers got infected with CryptoLocker F.
As one would come to expect from these emails, they appeared to be genuine notices sent out by Australian Post. By forcing recipients to visit a website instead of an attachment, most mail server malware security precautions could easily be bypassed. Symantec was the first company to detect this new type of malware, although they were quite surprised to find not one, but two different variants.
While CryptoLocker F was infecting computers left, right, and centre by spreading these fake Australian Post emails, TorrentLocker was doing its own thing. However, this type of ransomware had one major issue, as it was far less advanced than most people would have assumed. In fact,the developers of TorrentLocker had become quite complacent.
By using the same keystream for every computer infected with TorrentLocker, encryption of the files was rather easy to overcome. Granted, several people still fell victim to the TorrentLocker threat and paid the ransom, but security researchers established a free solution that could be used regardless of being infected or not.
Unfortunately, this did not spell the end of Bitcoin ransomware by any means, as a new variant started rearing its head in 2014. This type of hacking and extortion attempt will carry on for many years to come, as consumers will always remain vulnerable to inherent flaws found in human nature.
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