Do not confuse Cylance Ransomware with the Blackberry-owned Cylance cybersecurity company.
The cybersecurity researchers at Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 have discovered a new strain of Cylance Ransomware, which has already claimed several victims. Researchers noticed it early Friday morning, and further probing revealed that it is targeting Linux and Windows devices.
As of now, insufficient information is available about Cylance Ransomware, indicating that it is a relatively recent emergence. The ransom note received by victims was published by Unit 42 which contains the attackers’ email addresses, but surprisingly not the ransom amount. Here is the content of the ransom note:
“All your files are encrypted, and currently unusable, but you need to follow our instructions. Otherwise, you can’t return your data (never. It’s just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities – nobody will cooperate with us. It’s not in our interests.”
“To check the ability of returning files, we decrypt one file for free. That is our guarantee. If you will not cooperate with our service – for us, it does not matter. But you will lose time and data, cause just we have the private key. time is more valuable than money.”
It is believed that the amount will be disclosed to the victim when they contact the attacker. The attackers have warned against any attempt to restore or change the files, as it would destroy the private key, which means the data will be lost forever.
In a tweet, researchers explained that the modus operandi of the ransomware attack involves encrypting files and appending them with a “.Cylance” extension. In addition, a text file titled “Read Me” is added to all encrypted files’ folders. This file contains the attacker’s ransom note.
Who is Distributing Cylance Ransomware?
For your information, Cylance is actually a cybersecurity company owned by BlackBerry Ltd. The company is known for mitigating and preventing ransomware attacks on enterprise organizations. However, why threat actors named the ransomware after this company is unclear, or it could be that they are looking for extra attention or to negatively impact Cylance in the long run.
Although Cylance ransomware is still in its early stages, it will be crucial to monitor its targets and wait for more information from the infosec community. Currently, samples of the ransomware are available on MalwareBazaar, a project by abuse.ch that shares malware samples with the infosec community, AV vendors, and threat intelligence providers.