September 9, 2019 By David Bisson 2 min read

A new family of ransomware called Lilocked (or Lilu) infected thousands of web servers and encrypted their files.

According to ZDNet, users first began uploading ransom notes for Lilocked ransomware to ID Ransomware in mid-July 2019. Researchers found evidence of these attacks having intensified near the end of August. They also found that the ransomware mainly targeted a small subset of file extensions, including HTML, SHTML, JS, CSS, PHP and INI, hosted on Linux web servers. The means by which attackers gained access to these servers and encrypted their files remained unknown at the time of writing.

After Lilocked finished its encryption routine, each affected file sported .lilocked as its file extension. The ransomware also deposited a ransom note into each folder where it encrypted files. That message redirected victims to a payment portal on the darknet where a second ransom message demanded that victims pay 0.03 bitcoin (worth approximately $310).

The Latest Threat to Target Linux Servers

Lilocked isn’t the first threat family to target Linux servers. In February 2019, Bleeping Computer observed B0r0nt0K demanding as much as 20 bitcoins (then worth approximately $75,000) from Linux servers whose contents it had encrypted. A few months later, Intezer Labs discovered a new malware family called HiddenWasp targeting Linux severs for the purpose of achieving targeted remote control. More recently, in July 2019, Intezer Labs observed QNAPCrypt going after Linux-based file storage systems (NAS servers).

How to Defend Against Lilocked Ransomware

Security professionals can help defend their organizations against Lilocked ransomware by having a data backup strategy that enables backup accounts to access production systems, yet blocks production accounts from writing to any type of backup. Companies should link this backup strategy to a sophisticated data-centric solution that blends encryption, access controls and other security measures, thereby narrowing the attack surface for threats like ransomware.

More from

ITG05 operations leverage Israel-Hamas conflict lures to deliver Headlace malware

11 min read - As of December 2023, IBM X-Force has uncovered multiple lure documents that predominately feature the ongoing Israel-Hamas war to facilitate the delivery of the ITG05 exclusive Headlace backdoor. The newly discovered campaign is directed against targets based in at least 13 nations worldwide and leverages authentic documents created by academic, finance and diplomatic centers. ITG05’s infrastructure ensures only targets from a single specific country can receive the malware, indicating the highly targeted nature of the campaign.X-Force tracks ITG05 as a…

Exploiting GOG Galaxy XPC service for privilege escalation in macOS

7 min read - Being part of the Adversary Services team at IBM, it is important to keep your skills up to date and learn new things constantly. macOS security was one field where I decided to put more effort this year to further improve my exploitation and operation skills in macOS environments. During my research, I decided to try and discover vulnerabilities in software that I had pre-installed on my laptop, which resulted in the discovery of this vulnerability. In this article, I…

Taking the complexity out of identity solutions for hybrid environments

4 min read - For the past two decades, businesses have been making significant investments to consolidate their identity and access management (IAM) platforms and directories to manage user identities in one place. However, the hybrid nature of the cloud has led many to realize that this ultimate goal is a fantasy. Instead, businesses must learn how to consistently and effectively manage user identities across multiple IAM platforms and directories. As cloud migration and digital transformation accelerate at a dizzying pace, enterprises are left…

IBM identifies zero-day vulnerability in Zyxel NAS devices

12 min read - While investigating CVE-2023-27992, a vulnerability affecting Zyxel network-attached storage (NAS) devices, the IBM X-Force uncovered two new flaws, which when used together, allow for pre-authenticated remote code execution. Zyxel NAS devices are typically used by consumers as cloud storage devices for homes or small to medium-sized businesses. When used together, the flaws X-Force discovered allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the device with superuser permissions and without requiring any credentials. This results in complete control over the…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today