Most people will be well aware by now how Bitcoin ransomware can come in a variety of forms, and how no two versions share many similarities. Synolock is an especially interesting – yet also limited – piece of malware that is designed specifically to target owners of a Synology Disk Station. All of the files on the NAS are encrypted, and the only way to restore access is by paying a Bitcoin fee.
Also read: Bitcoin Ransomware Education – Troldesh
Synolock Encrypts Your NAS
File encryption is the bread and butter of any form of Bitcoin ransomware, and Synolock seems to be no different on the surface. However, there is a major difference with other types of malware, as this infection will only encrypt the files stored on a Synology Disk Station. A lot of people use these types of devices as a NAS, and the hardware comes with its very own operating system.
Older versions of the Synology Diskstation Manager software were vulnerable to Synolock, as the malware exploits a security flaw letting attackers lock others out of the files through remote access. Moreover, by installing Bitcoin ransomware on these devices, internet criminals can force Synology owners to pay a ransom if they want to regain control over their files.
While the Bitcoin ransomware fee was fairly limited – 0.6 Bitcoin at that given time – there was a rather easy way to circumvent this problem altogether. Customers who were affected by Synolock were advised to disconnect their NAS from the router, and update the software to the latest version. A data backup is always a good idea, which should come naturally when people are dealing with a NAS to begin with.
Moreover, Synology would also offer help to affected users through their Knowledge website. All in all, the Synolock issues were contained fairly quickly before any major damage could be done. By targeting Synology devices only, the people responsible for Synolock tried taking a different approach to the Bitcoin ransomware game, albeit without much success.
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