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Rokku Ransomware Uses QR Codes for Easier Payment

Ransomware creators are increasingly focused on making victims pay a ransom, and Rokku, a new malware family in this segment, is the latest example.

Spotted last week, Rokku works in a similar manner as other ransomware threats, but comes with a new “feature” to make it easier for victims to pay a ransom. Victims can now use a QR code to learn details on how to send the bitcoin ransom, Avira researchers reveal.

The ransomware’s operators attempt to infect victims’ computers via well-written phishing emails, Avira’s Sven Carlsen explains in a blog post. Next, Rokku deletes shadow copies from the hard drive, to ensure that users cannot recover their files, after which it starts encrypting all images and documents on the disk using a RSA-512 crypto algorithm.

As soon as the encryption process has been completed, the malicious program removes all of its traces from the systems, but leaves behind the encrypted files and information on how users can get their files back. Users are provided with onion addresses and are instructed to use the TOR anonymity network to land on a page that explains all the steps needed to get their encrypted data back.

What’s more, the page also provides victims with a QR Code, which points users to a Google search query that explains to them how to get the required bitcoins.

According to Avira, they already noticed a spike in the popularity of these search terms, although the Rokku ransomware has been around for merely a week or so. Basically, it seems that cybercriminals are looking to increase the chance that victims pay the ransom although security experts mostly advise against doing so.

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