Mamba Ransomware Encrypts Computer Hard Drives, Rather Than Data

A new type of ransomware a day will not keep the doctor away, unfortunately. Mamba, an intriguing type of ransomware, shows how easy it is for internet criminals to take things to the next level. Rather than encrypting computer files, this malware will encrypt entire hard drives. So far, the malicious software has been impacting users in the US, Brazil, and India.

Mamba Is Strangling Computers All Over The World

For those people and researchers who expected the peak of ransomware development to be well behind us, this is a rather rude awakening. Rather than encrypting computer files – which is annoying enough – Mamba encrypts hard drives. This makes it look and feel similar to HDDCryptor, a new ransomware from showing similar behavior.

As one is expecting these days, Mamba is mainly distributed through email campaigns. Mainly phishing emails are being sent out, redirecting users to malicious websites where the payload is downloaded in the background. Once the device is infected, the ransomware will rewrite the computer’s Master Boot Record and encrypt the hard drive.

For now, it appears Mamba is mainly targeting Windows users. It is also impossible to boot up the computer, as it requires a password. Unfortunately for victims, that password is the decryption key, which will be virtually impossible to crack. The only solution – for now – seems to be paying the one Bitcoin ransom demand.

Although it is not the first time such a type of ransomware is spotted in the wild, finding a solution will be much harder than before. Petya, another form of ransomware attacking computers at the disk level, was quickly dismantled by researchers. Since Mamba uses open source encryption tools, there is a way for researchers to come up with a solution, though.

For the time being, the ransomware threat seems far from over. Initiatives such as “No More Ransom” can hopefully eradicate this malware from the world, albeit the process may take some time. Now that criminals continue to improve their tools of havoc, the bigger concern is what they may have in store next.

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