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Think twice before you open email attachments from unknown senders

Security researchers of Checkpoint have discovered a new ransom threat dubbed Troldesh, which is also known as Encoder.858 and Shade.

Security researchers of Checkpoint have discovered a new ransom threat dubbed Troldesh, which is also known as Encoder.858 and Shade.

The Troldesh, which was created in Russia, has already affected numerous users across the world. The Troldesh ransomware typically encrypts the user’s personal files and extorts money for their decryption.

“Troldesh is based on so-called encryptors that encrypt all of the user’s personal data and extort money to decrypt the files. Troldesh encrypts a user’s files with an “.xtbl” extension. It is spread initially via e-mail spam,” Natalia Kolesova, anti-bot analyst at the Check Point, wrote in a blog.

She said that they found a distinctive characteristic in Troldesh besides the typical ransom features. 

The inventors of Troldesh directly communicate with the user by providing an email address, which is used to determine the payment method.

According to Kolesova, once a corrupted email is opened, the malicious threat is activated. Then, it will start encrypting the user’s files with the extension .xbtl.

Along with the files, users’ names are also encrypted. Once the encryption process is done, the affected user is displayed a ransom message and is being redirected to a ‘readme’ text for further information.

In a bid to stay safe, users are advised not to open anything suspicious by unknown senders.

“Many cases have been reported by the users paying the ransom without having their files decrypted. In order to avoid ransomware, it is important to back up important data previously on an external storage device or in a cloud,” she wrote.

The researcher said that the affected users have to download a powerful anti-malware tool to scan the system and remove the ransomware.

The researcher said she contacted the hackers via an email and asked for a discount.

“I was very interested to learn more about the ransom and tried to start a correspondence with the attackers. As required, I sent the specified code to the e-mail address provided, one that is registered on the most famous Russian domain,” the researcher wrote.

The crooks had demanded 250 euros to decrypt all of the files.

However, after the researcher asked to reduce the amount, the criminals agreed to lower the ransom to €118 / $131, payable via QIWI money transfer system.
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