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New EvilQuest ransomware found concentrating on macOS customers

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Safety researchers have found this week a brand new ransomware pressure concentrating on macOS customers.

Named OSX.EvilQuest, this ransomware is totally different from earlier macOS ransomware threats as a result of moreover encrypting the sufferer’s information, EvilQuest additionally installs a keylogger, a reverse shell, and steals cryptocurrency wallet-related information from contaminated hosts.

“Armed with these capabilities, the attacker can essential full management over an contaminated host,” mentioned Patrick Wardle, Principal Safety Researcher at Jamf. Because of this even when victims paid, the attacker would nonetheless have entry to their laptop and proceed to steal information and keyboard strokes.

Wardle is presently one of many many macOS safety researchers who’re analyzing this new menace.

Others who’re additionally investigating EvilQuest embody Thomas Reed, Director of Mac & Cellular at Malwarebytes, and Phil Stokes, macOS safety researcher at SentinelOne.

Reed and Stokes are presently in search of a weak point or bug within the ransomware’s encryption scheme that might be exploited to create a decryptor and assist contaminated victims get better their information with out paying the ransom.

EvilQuest is distributed by way of pirated software program

However the researcher who first noticed the brand new EvilQuest ransomware is K7 Lab safety researcher Dinesh Devadoss.

Devadoss tweeted about his discovering yesterday, June 29. Nevertheless, new proof surfaced within the meantime has revealed that EvilQuest has been, in actuality, distributed within the wild because the begin of June 2020.

Reed informed ZDNet in a cellphone name at present that Malwarebytes has discovered EvilQuest hidden inside pirated macOS software program uploaded on torrent portals and on-line boards.

Devadoos has noticed EvilQuest hidden in a software program bundle referred to as Google Software program Replace, Wardle has discovered samples of EvilQuest inside a pirated model of well-liked DJ software program Blended In Key, and Reed has noticed it hidden contained in the macOS safety software referred to as Little Snitch.

evilquest-forum.png

Russian discussion board spreading pirated macOS app contaminated with OSX.EvilQuest

Picture: ZDNet by way of Malwarebytes

Nevertheless, Reed informed us he believes the ransomware is most definitely extra broadly distributed, leveraging many extra different apps, and never simply these three.

Wardle, who revealed an in-depth technical analysis of EvilQuest earlier at present, mentioned the malware is fairly simple, because it strikes to encrypt the person’s information as quickly because it’s executed.

As soon as the file encryption scheme ends, a popup is proven to the person, letting the sufferer know they have been contaminated and their information encrypted.

evilquest-popup.png
Picture: Dinesh Devadoss

The sufferer is directed to open a ransom observe within the type of a textual content file that has been positioned on their desktop, which seems to be just like the one beneath:

evilquest-ransom-note.png
Picture: Patrick Wardle

Stokes informed ZDNet the ransomware will encrypt any information with the next file extensions:

.pdf, .doc, .jpg, .txt, .pages, .pem, .cer, .crt, .php, .py, .h, .m, .hpp, .cpp, .cs, .pl, .p, .p3, .html, .webarchive, .zip, .xsl, .xslx, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .keynote, .js, .sqlite3, .pockets, .dat

After the encryption course of ends, the ransomware installs a keylogger to file all of the person’s keystrokes, a reverse shell so the attacker can connect with the contaminated host and run customized instructions, and also will look to steal the next kinds of information, normally employed by cryptocurrency pockets purposes.

  • “pockets.pdf”
  • “pockets.png”
  • “key.png”
  • “*.p12”

In his own analysis of EvilQuest, Reed additionally famous that the ransomware additionally makes an attempt to change information particular to Google Chrome’s replace mechanism, and use the information as a type of persistence on contaminated hosts.

“These [Chrome update] information had the content material of the patch file prepended to them, which after all would imply that the malicious code would run when any of those information is executed,” Reed mentioned. “Nevertheless, Chrome will see that the information have been modified, and can change the modified information with clear copies as quickly because it runs, so it is unclear what the aim right here is.”

Wardle, who has created a number of open-source macOS safety instruments, mentioned {that a} software he launched in 2016, named RansomWhere, can detect and cease EvilQuest from operating. Reed additionally mentioned that Malwarebytes for Mac was additionally up to date to detect and cease this ransomware earlier than it does any injury.

EvilQuest is the third ransomware pressure that has solely focused macOS customers after KeRanger and Patcher. One other macOS ransomware pressure referred to as Mabouia solely existed at a theoretical stage and was by no means launched in the actual world.

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