Malware dev lures youngster exploiters into honeytrap to extort them


Hacker holding their hand sup

You not often root for a cybercriminal, however a brand new malware marketing campaign focusing on youngster exploiters does not make you’re feeling unhealthy for the victims.

Since 2012, menace actors have been creating quite a lot of malware and ransomware that faux to be authorities companies warning contaminated Home windows customers that they have been viewing CSAM. The malware tells victims they need to pay a “penalty” to stop their data from being despatched to legislation enforcement.

One of many first “fashionable” ransomware operations, referred to as Anti-Little one Porn Spam Safety or ACCDFISA, used this extortion tactic mixed with initially locking Home windows desktops and encrypting information in later variations.

Anti-Child Porn Spam Protection/ACCDFISA extortion malware
Anti-Little one Porn Spam Safety/ACCDFISA extortion malware
Supply: BleepingComputer

Quickly adopted different malware households that pretended to be legislation enforcement issuing fines for watching CSAM, comparable to HarasomUrausy, and the Reveton trojans.

An unlikely hero

Final week, cybersecurity researcher MalwareHunterTeam shared a pattern of a malware executable with BleepingComputer referred to as ‘CryptVPN’ [VirusTotal] utilizing related extortion techniques.

Nonetheless, this time, fairly than focusing on harmless individuals, the malware developer is focusing on those that actively hunt down youngster pornography.

After researching the malware, BleepingComputer discovered that menace actors created a web site to impersonate UsenetClub, a subscription service for “uncensored” entry to photographs and movies downloaded from Usenet.

Usenet is a web based dialogue platform permitting individuals to debate numerous matters in “newsgroups” to which they subscribe. Whereas Usenet is used for legitimate dialogue on a variety of points, it’s also a identified supply of kid pornography.

A faux web site created by the menace actors pretends to be UsenetClub, providing three subscription tiers to the location’s content material. The primary two are paid-for subscriptions starting from $69.99 per thirty days to $279.99 per 12 months.

Nonetheless, a 3rd choice claims to offer free entry after you put in a free “CryptVPN” software program and use it to entry the location.

Fake UsenetClub site
Faux UsenetClub web site
Supply: BleepingComputer

Clicking on the “Obtain & Set up” button will obtain a CryptVPN.zip file from the location that, when extracted, comprises a Home windows shortcut referred to as “CLICK-HERE-TO-INSTALL”.

PowerShell shortcut in CryptVPN download
PowerShell shortcut in CryptVPN obtain
Supply: BleepingComputer

This file is a shortcut to the PowerShell.exe executable with arguments to obtain the CryptVPN.exe executable, put it aside to C:WindowsTasks.exe, and execute it.

PowerShell command in Windows shortcut
PowerShell command in Home windows shortcut
Supply: BleepingComputer

The malware executable is full of UPX, however when unpacked, it comprises a PDB string that signifies that the creator referred to as the malware “PedoRansom”.


C:UsersusersourcereposPedoRansomx64ReleasePedoRansom.pdb

There may be nothing particular concerning the malware as all it does is change the goal’s wallpaper to an extortion demand and drops a ransom notice named README.TXT on the desktop, containing related extortion threats.

Windows wallpaper changed to an extortion demand
Home windows wallpaper modified to an extortion demand
Supply: BleepingComputer

“You have been trying to find youngster exploitation and/or youngster sexual abuse materials. You have been silly sufficient to get hacked,” reads the extortion demand.

“We now have collected all of your data, now it’s essential to pay us a ransom or your life is over.”

The extortion goes on to state that the particular person should pay $500 to the bc1q4zfspf0s2gfmuu8h5k0679sxgxjkd7aj5e6qyl Bitcoin handle inside ten days or their data will probably be leaked.

This bitcoin handle has solely obtained roughly $86 in funds presently.

Risk actors have been utilizing “sextortion” techniques for a very long time, generally sending mass emails to massive numbers of individuals to try to scare them into paying an extortion demand.

These techniques carried out very properly initially, with spammers extorting over $50,000 weekly within the early campaigns.

Nonetheless, as time has passed by and recipients of those scams have grown wiser, sextortion campaigns don’t generate the identical income as they as soon as did.

Whereas this explicit marketing campaign is a little more ingenious and can scare many in search of any such content material, we’ll seemingly not see many individuals paying this extortion demand.



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