Menu
New ransomware program Chimera threatens to leak user files

New ransomware program Chimera threatens to leak user files

The program's creators try to scare users into paying by threatening to publish their files online

Ransomware creators have taken their extortion one step further: in addition to encrypting people's private files and asking for money before releasing a key, they now threaten to publish those files on the Internet if they're not paid.

This worrying development has recently been observed in a new ransomware program dubbed Chimera that was documented by the Anti-Botnet Advisory Centre, a service of the German Association of the Internet Industry.

The attackers behind this new threat target mainly businesses by sending rogue emails to specific employees that masquerade as job applications or business offers. The emails contain a link to a malicious file hosted on Dropbox.

Once Chimera infects a computer it starts encrypting the local files. After the first reboot it displays a ransom note on the user's desktop. The attackers ask for a payment of around 630 euro in Bitcoin in order to provide the decryption key.

Up to this point, the process is similar to that followed by other ransomware programs. However, Chimera's creators have taken their intimidation attempts to a new low. In their ransom note they claim that if they're not paid they will publish the user's files on the Internet.

There's no evidence that any victim's personal data has yet been released online, the German Anti-Botnet Advisory Centre said in a blog post.

It's not clear if the ransomware program does indeed siphon off user files before or after encrypting them. But the threat could be enough to scare even users who have backups into paying.

Ransomware programs typically encrypt data locally and don't upload it to command-and-control servers because that would require a lot of storage space, even if attackers restrict the theft to certain file types such as pictures.

But the prospect of this happening in the future is scary, as it would pose a major privacy risk to businesses and consumers alike.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

​The New Year brings the usual new round of humdrum technology predictions, glaringly general, unashamedly safe and perpetually predictable. But while the industry no longer sees value in “cloud is now the norm” type projections, value can be found in following developments of the year previous, analysing behaviours and patterns to formulate a plan for the 12 months ahead. Consequently, here’s the top Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017...

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017
Show Comments