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- Virtual experience demonstration (3)-
Last Update: October 10, 2017
Ransomware is a generic term that refers to malicious programs that lock targeted PCs and/or hold files hostage. While the term "ransomware" might be familiar to some people, it is not widely understood how these programs attack the targeted PCs. HIRT-PUB17004 addresses an incident of ransomware which was brought to attention in late 2016.
In late 2016, an incident involving an email that alerted the user of a malware infection and prompted them to download a virus removal tool was reported. The download file included an apt name such as "malware (VAWTRAK) removal_tool.zip" or "VIRUS REMOVAL TOOL.zip". The file was in fact ransomware.
MISCHA is ransomware that was discovered in May 2016. In late October 2016, MISCHA was distributed via emails with titles such as "[Important] Joint project with Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: A warning to users of computers infected by malware related to internet banking, and information regarding the distribution of removal tools".
STAMPADO is ransomware that was discovered in July 2016. In early November 2016, STAMPADO was distributed via emails with titles such as "[Important] Joint project with Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: A warning to users of computers infected with computer viruses, and information regarding the distribution of removal tools".
Virtual experience demonstrations are Adobe Flash movies for which you can use buttons to start, pause, or restart the demonstration. These demonstrations show the ransomware process without, of course, triggering any virus infection.
This virtual experience demonstration shows a scenario in which you extract and then run a removal tool from the Malware(VAWTRAK)Removal Tool.zip file downloaded from the site specified in the received email. MISCHA begins to run, and then displays a dialog box asking you to allow changes to be made to the computer. If you enter the administrator password and select Yes (allow changes), MISCHA begins to encrypt the hard disk, resulting in the OS being disabled. If you do not allow changes, MISCHA begins to encrypt files one by one and delivers a ransom note.
This virtual experience demonstration shows a scenario in which you extract and then run a removal tool from the VIRUS REMOVAL TOOL.zip file downloaded from the site specified in the received email. STAMPADO begins to run, encrypts files, and then displays a warning dialog box. This dialog box informs the user that there is a time limit of 4 days (96 hours) to recover the encrypted files, during which a file will be deleted every 6 hours. If the time limit expires, the warning dialog box disappears, rendering the encrypted files unrecoverable.
Virtual experience demonstrations are part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications demonstration project that strives to provide analysis of cyber attacks, defense models, and practical training.
Masato Terada (HIRT), Naoko Asai (HIRT) and Naoko Ohnishi (HIRT)