A new species of ransomware is trying to lure people around the world. It’s a fake cryptocurrency that tricks victims with the idea of making money exponentially. As a result of the insane popularity of cryptocurrencies, here arrives a fake cryptocurrency which is known as SpriteCoin.
Spritecoin is announced on many online forums as the new mined cryptocurrency by cybercriminals. It is advertised as the most profitable cryptocurrency which attracts cryptocurrency enthusiasts to install the cryptocurrency wallet software to buy SpriteCoin. Once it gets installed inside your computer, the malware encrypts computer files and then asks for ransom for decrypting the files. Criminals ask for ransomware in terms of Monero- a cryptocurrency and in return assure to provide the decryption key.
In addition to all sufferings, if victim pays 0.3 Monero i.e. currently $97, social engineers will send another malware instead of the decryption key. The malware is capable of parsing images, harvesting certificates and controlling victim’s webcam.
See Also: Risks And Benefits Of Bitcoin Investment
How Does SpriteCoin Work?
Creating SpriteCoin is not an easy task. It demands expertise in social engineering to successfully jeopardize targets.
Though there are different ransomware that use email phishing as the medium of infection, Spritecoin acts like a cryptocurrency wallet app that pretends to contain the ‘cryptocurrency’ – SpriteCoin.
It’s an old trick to lure victims into quick money-making schemes.
How Does The Process Begin?
The user is asked to set a password for the so-called cryptocurrency wallet. Meanwhile, the ransomware encrypts all the files and folders of the victim’s computer. The malware infects the system in the time user completes the process. Victim’s Firefox and Chrome’s credential stores are also attacked and sent to the attackers.
The computer’s screen displays a message which asks the user to a pay 0.3 Monero to decrypt the files. The message also displays information about the cryptocurrency Monero, where to buy it, and procedure to pay the ransom. Attackers also warn victims that deleting or uninstalling the malware will keep the files decrypted forever.
Image source: siliconangle.com
Other ransomware attackers are shifting to cryptocurrencies instead of Bitcoin due to issues in Bitcoin payments. It’s noticeable that the ransom amount here is much less compared to other ransomware attacks. Researchers think that Spritecoin is being used as an instrument to test a new delivery mechanism which is specially being developed for ransomware. Hence, we can say that Spritecoin is just the tip of the iceberg!
However, SpriteCoin ransomware assures victims to return their data once they receive the payment in the desired way. But researchers disagree and believe that victims will be attacked with another malware instead of sending a decryption key. The malware can control webcam and parse certificates.
Security experts are analyzing Spritecoin and will soon arrive with techniques to defend your systems against it.
At the same time, computer users are requested to ignore such ‘too good to be true’ offers and keep their devices secure. Again, usage of effective malware detection program can help in mitigating ransomware situations.