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Jaff Ransomware Operation Tied to Cybercrime Store

Jaff, a ransomware family that emerged on May 12, the same day WannaCry did, appears connected to wider operations, as a recent sample was found to share server space with a refined cybercrime marketplace, Heimdal Security warns.

Jaff, a ransomware family that emerged on May 12, the same day WannaCry did, appears connected to wider operations, as a recent sample was found to share server space with a refined cybercrime marketplace, Heimdal Security warns.

Distributed via PDF documents attached to spam emails sent by the Necurs botnet, Jaff was already said to have been operated by the group behind Locky and Dridex, which also released the Bart ransomware last year.

Heimdal Security has revealed that Jaff shares server space with a cybercrime web shop that offers access to tens of thousands of compromised bank accounts, along with information on their balance, location, and attached email address.

The marketplace also allows cybercriminals to purchase stolen credit cards (some already verified), along with compromised accounts on PayPal, Amazon, eBay, and other online services. Some of the items sell for less than a dollar, while others are priced at several Bitcoins, the researchers say.

The marketplace doesn’t vet users, meaning that all types of malicious actors have access to the stolen goods.

The marketplace lists financial institutions from all around the world, with most of the compromised accounts seemingly originating from the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Australia, Italy and New Zealand.

The marketplace also sells other types of user accounts that include financial data, such as those pertaining to portals like Apple, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy,,, and other ecommerce services.

“This doesn’t mean that those specific web shops have been compromised. Cyber criminals use a wide range of tactics to get into victims’ accounts, often focusing on breaking weak and/or reused passwords,” Heimdal Security evangelist Andra Zaharia notes.

The hackers can use these accounts to make fraudulent purchases or to harvest financial information pertaining to their owners. With access to stolen credit card data, cybercriminals can enjoy easy access to cash that can then be turned into untraceable Bitcoins.

According to Heimdal Security, the server this marketplace is hosted on is located in St. Petersburg, Russia, at IP 5.101.66 [.] 85. “The same server is also part of the infrastructure that fuels the Jaff ransomware attacks that have been sweeping across Europe and the rest of the world,” Zaharia says.

The domains used by this cybercrime marketplace include http://paysell[.]info, http://paysell[.]net, http://paysell[.]me, http://paysell[.]bz, http://paysell[.]org, and http://paysell[.]ws. Another domain is hosted on TOR (The Onion Router): paysellzh4l5lso7[.]onion.

Ransomware attacks often also aim at stealing as much user information as possible, but there doesn’t appear to be evidence that the stolen credentials available on this cybercrime marketplace were exfiltrated using Jaff.

In fact, Heimdal couldn’t share with SecurityWeek information on how the stolen data might have been acquired. Some possible explanations, however, include the use of other types of malware, or the exploit of the large number of credentials that emerged online last year as part of major data breaches affecting popular online platforms.

Related: Decoy Files Found in PDFs Dropping Jaff Ransomware

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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