Security researchers discovered that a new DLL CryptoMix ransomware variant is reportedly using Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to install itself on unsuspecting users’ machines.

Bleeping Computer first learned about the ransomware when someone revealed in its forums that they had suffered an infection. The user went on to note how those responsible for the attack had exploited their machine’s publicly exposed RDS to infiltrate their computer and install the DLL CryptoMix variant. As part of this infection chain, the attackers also apparently enabled the computer’s default admin account and changed its password.

The sample analyzed by Bleeping Computer modified each file it encrypted by appending the .DLL extension to its file name. It then saved a ransom note to the compromised machine informing the victim to send their infection ID number to multiple email addresses, such as [email protected][dot]com, [email protected][dot]com and others. The attackers promised in their note that they would send over payment instructions immediately upon hearing from the victim at all of these email addresses.

The Changing Face of CryptoMix

At the beginning of the year, Coveware observed a similar CryptoMix attack that claimed all ransom payments would go to a fictitious children’s charity. And in March, Bleeping Computer spotted a variant using .CLOP or .CIOP extensions as it apparently shifted its focus to target entire networks instead of individual computers.

This attack also comes amid the growing costs associated with a ransomware attack. In April, Coveware observed that the average payment associated with ransomware in Q1 2019 had risen to $12,762 — an 89 percent increase from Q4 2018’s average of $6,733.

How to Defend Against DLL CryptoMix

Security professionals can help defend their organizations against a DLL CryptoMix infection by implementing a robust data backup strategy and vetting backup policies, including regular testing to make sure the organization can obtain viable backups. Security teams should also use an endpoint management solution to ensure all endpoints’ software is up to date and to acquire greater visibility into the production environment.

More from

Data Privacy: How the Growing Field of Regulations Impacts Businesses

The proposed rules over artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union (EU) are a harbinger of things to come. Data privacy laws are becoming more complex and growing in number and relevance. So, businesses that seek to become — and stay — compliant must find a solution that can do more than just respond to current challenges. Take a look at upcoming trends when it comes to data privacy regulations and how to follow them. Today's AI Solutions On April…

Why Zero Trust Works When Everything Else Doesn’t

The zero trust security model is proving to be one of the most effective cybersecurity approaches ever conceived. Zero trust — also called zero trust architecture (ZTA), zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) and perimeter-less security — takes a "default deny" security posture. All people and devices must prove explicit permission to use each network resource each time they use that resource. Using microsegmentation and least privileged access principles, zero trust not only prevents breaches but also stymies lateral movement should a breach…

5 Golden Rules of Threat Hunting

When a breach is uncovered, the operational cadence includes threat detection, quarantine and termination. While all stages can occur within the first hour of discovery, in some cases, that's already too late.Security operations center (SOC) teams monitor and hunt new threats continuously. To ward off the most advanced threats, security teams proactively hunt for ones that evade the dashboards of their security solutions.However, advanced threat actors have learned to blend in with their target's environment, remaining unnoticed for prolonged periods. Based…

Third-Party App Stores Could Be a Red Flag for iOS Security

Even Apple can’t escape change forever. The famously restrictive company will allow third-party app stores for iOS devices, along with allowing users to “sideload” software directly. Spurring the move is the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA), which looks to ensure open markets by reducing the ability of digital “gatekeepers” to restrict content on devices. While this is good news for app creators and end-users, there is a potential red flag: security. Here’s what the compliance-driven change means for…