We have discussed in previous blogs how ransomware attacks are constantly evolving with time. In the beginning, ransomware, like any other malware code, would infect the device or network by directly executing its script. But cybercriminals now set up malicious websites to carry out the same malevolence doings of ransomware i.e. asking for ransom with the threat of exploiting the compromised data.
An Evil Imitation of “Have I Been Pwned”
Different unsubstantiated figures suggest that billions of passwords have been compromised in multiple data breaches and majority of the affected users are not even aware that they are the victims.
For all those users, “Have I Been Pwned”, a non-commercial website, enables them to find out whether their personal data has ever been compromised during any data breach. The website uses different database dumps and pastebins where data of all leaked accounts is usually casted off. Users can search with their email address or username if they have ever become a victim of any data breach.
The malicious ransom website uses the same service model. But after informing the user if his password has been compromised, they demand ransom in the name of ‘donation’ to not publish the leaked and breached passwords in plain text on any public domain.
Now, it is being reported that instead of asking for nominal ransoms, operators of the website are taking over the processing power of the user’s device through ransomware codes and ask for money to restore it. As you can see, rather than restoring ransomware files, the cybercriminals now ask for extortion money to restore the processing capabilities of the targeted device.
As more people are realizing the importance of data backups, cryptographic attacks for the restoration of ransomware-affected files are not a lucrative prospect for many cybercriminals anymore. Hence, they are trying and testing new methods to maintain the viability of ransomware attacks. Such malicious websites are popping out for this reason. We advise our readers to not use any website other than “Have I Been Pwned” to check whether their personal information has ever been compromised in any hack.