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This ransomware looks to make the world a better place

security
(Image credit: Shutterstock / binarydesign)

A yet unknown threat actor wants to be the Robin Hood of the cyber-era, albeit with a twist. Instead of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, this group forces the poor to give directly to the rich - by holding their precious data hostage until they do.

Cybersecurity researchers from CloudSEK recently discovered a ransomware strain named “GoodWill” that still infects companies, but instead of asking for payment, it’s asking for acts of goodwill against those less fortunate, all of which need to be documented and presented both publicly, and to the threat actor itself.

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Helping the poor

Once a company gets infected with GoodWill, it needs to do three things:

  • Provide homeless people found on the side of the road with new clothes and warm blankets. The victim must also document the act with photos and videos, add them to the photo frame provided by the attackers, and then share on their social media (Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp). Screenshots of those posts, together with the links, need to be sent back to the attackers, in order to receive the second assignment:
  • Buy food for poor children. In the evening, five poor kids need to be taken down to their favorite fast food restaurant and allowed to order whatever they can. The steps for this task are the same - document, post online, share with the attackers. Finally, step number three:
  • Go to the nearest hospital and pay for someone’s treatment.

After all these things, the victims need to write a “beautiful article” about their deeds, and discuss how suffering an attack at the hands of GoodWill turned them into kind human beings. Once the threat actor verifies all was done as requested, the victims will receive the decryption key. 

The researchers seemingly tracked the attackers to India, and although it cannot be absolutely certain, suspects this is the same malware (opens in new tab) group that operates the HiddenTear ransomware.

Via: Neowin (opens in new tab)

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.