The notorious Shamoon malware showed its ugly head again in a new wave of attacks. The operation was primarily aimed at Saudi Arabia.
Rising Threat Of The Shamoon Malware
The initial outbreak of the Shamoon malware started in 2012. After years of silence, the virus appeared again with a new version called Shamoon 2.0. The newest attacks are part of the same variant, and some new details about the threat were discovered and disclosed in a report by Kaspersky Lab.
One curious detail about the new variant is the inclusion of ransomware capabilities. They weren’t directly used, but this may mean that the crooks have plans for money extortion. The whole scheme stinks of corporate proxy-warfare, as the virus is specifically aimed at business firms. The people behind Shamoon are probably freelance criminals that do blackhat attacks for pay.
If that is the case, then ransomware scamming can be a way to turn extra profit. Not only will they make money from the client payments, but also any potential ransoms that may be extorted.
Another interesting detail from the Kaspersky report is the inclusion of disc wipeout module that includes the “Death of Alan Kurdi” photo. This may indicate that the hackers behind Shamoon are trying to exploit the situation in the Middle East for personal gratification, similar to the scammers behind .killedxxx ransomware virus.
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Shamoon Malware Virus – All-In-One Cybercrime Tool?
There are lots of money in developing tools for scammers. Most criminals tend to be low on intelligence, and the cybercriminal underworld is no exception. These people can’t really code or use computers on a high level, so they must rely on outside developers.
Most ransomware scammers are using ready-made services. So the usual cliché of genius cybercriminals like Elliot from Mr. Robot are extra unrealistic. The self-righteousness is spot-on, though.