A new piece of ransomware has been using public sites to host information about its victims, along with using Google Maps API to determine the victim’s location.
Dubbed Cry or CSTO, because it pretends to come from a fake organization called the Central Security Treatment Organization, the threat demands a 1.1 Bitcoins (around $625) ransom. The malware was observed appending the .cry extension to encrypted files and sending information to its command and control (C&C) server via UDP, a feature previously observed in Cerber.
After infecting a victim’s machine, the ransomware gathers information such as Windows version, installed service pack, Windows bit-type, username, computer name, and CPU type, then sends these details via UDP to 4096 different IP addresses one of which is the C&C server. The UDP protocol is used in an attempt to obfuscate the location of the C&C server, researchers say.
The Cry ransomware then uploads the victim’s information along with a list of encrypted files to Imgur.com by compiling all details in a fake PNG image file and sending it to a specific album. Imgur responds with a unique name for the file and the ransomware broadcasts the filename over UDP to inform the C&C server on this as well.
By abusing Google Maps API and listing the SSIDs of nearby wireless networks (with the help of the WlanGetNetworkBssList function), the ransomware can determine the victim’s location. However, researchers haven’t yet determined what this location is used for, though they suggest that the attackers might leverage it to further scare the victims into paying the ransom.