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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments