New Chaos Ransomware Builder Variant “Puspa2” Discovered in the Wild
Chaos is a customizable ransomware builder that emerged in underground forums, by falsely marketing itself as the .NET version of Ryuk despite sharing no such overlaps with the notorious counterpart. The fact that it’s offered for sale also means that any malicious actor can purchase the builder and develop their own ransomware strains, turning it into a potent threat.
Puspa2 is the latest version to join this list.
Analysts at SecneurX found that Puspa2 encrypts files and appends its extension (".puspa2#mejukeni7sala029") to filenames. Also, it drops the "_XXX_HELLO'S_READ_ME._txt" file that contains a ransom note.
After executing the Puspa2 ransomware all files and folders got encrypted and appended their filenames with a ".puspa2#mejukeni7sala029" extension. For Example a file titled as "Sep2019.docx" appeared as "Sep2019.docx..puspa2#mejukeni7sala029", "Jan2020.docx" as "Jan2020.docx..puspa2#mejukeni7sala029", and so on.
"Use the IoCs outlined in this report to monitor for a Chaos infection, as well as connections to any suspicious infrastructure," the analysts recommended.
Screenshot of files encrypted by .puspa2#mejukeni7sala029 ransomware
Puspa2 Ransomware Overview
Puspa2 ransomware notes inform victims that their files have been encrypted. It instructs victims to send $500 worth of bitcoins to decrypt all files and folders. Also mentioned is an email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” to send screenshots of the victim's infected machine and instructs victims to pay within 3 days if not all files and folders are deleted automatically.
How does ransomware infect my computer?
Screenshots of Puspa2 Ransomware Text file (“XXX_HELLO'S_READ_ME._txt”)
What can you do to avoid being a ransomware victim?
As dangerous as ransomware is, simply being aware and staying updated with the latest ransomware trends can go a long way in securing your data and systems. Here are helpful tips on how you can defend yourself from a likely attack.
Scrutinize emails & their attachments before opening them
Be wary of emails from unverified sources. You can check by communicating directly with the purported sender to confirm if they sent the messages. To check its validity, you can use SecneurX Sandbox to verify the sanity of the email
Avoid clicking embedded links found in unverified emails
Such social engineering tricks can lead to the download of ransomware. Additionally, be wary of sites that prompt you to enter a CAPTCHA code as this could be linked to a ransomware attack. To check its validity, you can use services like SecneurX Sandbox to verify the reputation of the site.
Back up your important files
While prevention is always better than the cure, having a backup of important files can at least lessen the potential damage done by a ransomware attack. While being locked out of your own system is always a bad thing, at least it's not a total disaster since you can always retrieve your important files. The 3-2-1 backup rule applies here—three backup copies of your data on two different media and one of those copies in a separate location.
Regularly update software, programs, and applications
Updating them to the latest versions can provide an added layer of protection against online threats as some ransomware arrives via vulnerability exploits.
Use a layered protection suite