The hackers responsible for last week’s globe-spanning ransomware attack have made a public statement for the first time since the attack.
The group responsible for #NotPetya have allegedly surfaced on the deep web with a statement offering the decryption key to all files encrypted by the ransomware they unleashed from Ukraine last week.
The post was first picked up by Motherboard after the group used the Bitcoin wallet associated with the ransomware to make a small donation to the Tor-only announcement service DeepPaste, which is where the message appeared.
The message makes a request for 100 bitcoins, which is over $250,000 in today’s market.
According to The Verge, “the message includes a file signed with Petya’s private key, which is strong evidence that the message came from the group responsible for Petya. More specifically, it proves that whoever left the message has the necessary private key to decrypt individual files infected by the virus.”
There was also a link to a chatroom included in the messages. During an interview conducted in the chatroom, someone claiming to be one of the malware authors told Motherboard that the price was so high because it’s for the key “to decrypt all computers.”
Motherboard offered the unknown group an individual file that had been decrypted by the malware and asked them to send it back decrypted as proof that they had the decryption key. The unknown individuals in the chatroom were unable or unwilling to decrypt the file.
Some are still convinced that this attack has nothing to do with money or ransomware.
“This is a fear, uncertainty and doubt case,” claimed the founder of Comae Technologies Matt Suiche in an online chat with Motherboard. “This is a clear attempt from the attackers to try to further confuse the audience by changing the wiper narrative into a ransomware one again.”
A massive ransomware campaign has been identified on June 27, 2017, and is currently unfolding worldwide. The attack has been dubbed “NotPetya” by Kaspersky Lab and other experts in the field who state that, in comparison to earlier versions of the Petya malware, this new variant has major differences in its operations. Bitdefender Labs confirmed in an update earlier today that the ransomware uses the NSA’s EternalBlue exploit to propagate.
If you’re unfamiliar with ransomware, it’s a pretty simple concept. Cyber-criminals and hackers develop a tool or program which, upon gaining access to a targeted PC, will close off access and encrypt the files of the target. The administrator of the infected target will not be able to access anything unless they pay a ransom in Bitcoin, which is the USD equivalent of $300 in this case. If the ransom isn’t paid, the malware may destroy all of your files — or at least never allow you to regain access to them again.
If your computer has been affected by this most recent ransomware, your screen will look something like this:
While Ukraine’s government, National Bank, transportation services and largest power companies are bearing the brunt of the attack right now, and some experts have speculated that this might be a politically motivated attack against Ukrainian infrastructure, there are also notable reports of the virus springing up across Europe and even in parts of the US.
This is just seven weeks after one of the largest ransomware outbreaks in history, WannaCry, swept the globe and wreaked havoc on airports, hospitals, schools, businesses and personal laptops in nearly 100 countries.
As mentioned by CNET, “WannaCry was supposed to be a wake-up call for people to update their computers with the latest software. But it appears people just forgot about the attack and went on with their lives.”
As described by Microsoft, some of the ways your PC can be infected by ransomware include:
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening emails and email attachments that you weren’t expecting or from people you don’t know.
- Opening malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, or in instant messenger chats, like Skype.
At SolidTrust Pay, one of our top priorities is security. While we are at very little risk of being affected by this recent outbreak as a business, we are certainly concerned for our users and merchants. We encourage anybody who is reading this to follow the steps laid out by Microsoft on protecting your PC against ransomware attacks.
This past Friday, June 16, 2017, SolidTrust Pay is proud to announce that we joined 90 other leading payment processors and online money transfer operators in recognizing the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) and signing the IMTC pledge to work together to enhance innovative financial technology, provide greater efficiency and lower costs for a more accessible financial sector to all.
We chose to show our support by making all member-to-member transactions completely free on that day! Below are the results, which we’ve decided to share publicly to inspire and encourage others in our industry to act.
On June 16, 2017, $10,116.62 was sent through SolidTrust Pay in a total of 122 transfers to/from 39 different countries without paying a single cent in fees! The majority of the transfers were made from the UK, Canada, the US, Pakistan and Japan and among the top receiving countries were Serbia and Singapore.
We’re pleased with the results of our first participation event in the IDFR, and we look forward to making an even bigger contribution next year!
SolidTrust Pay plays an integral role in the global money transfer and fin-tech industries. Many of our members use our services to conduct business around the world because we offer some of the best rates and services online. But many of our users also use our services to transfer monies to their families back home — these are called remittances.
On June 16th, we are proud to announce we will be showing our support for the International Day of Family Remittances, as well as our dedication to improving both the lives of our users and the many different countries from which they come.
For a full 24 hours, from 9:00am EST on June 16 to 8:59am EST on June 17, member-to-member transactions will be entirely free! That means you won’t pay a single cent in fees for any transactions between your friends, family or associates. This does not apply to merchant website purchases. Users must be 18 or older in order to create an account, and accounts are restricted to a $250 daily transaction limit until fully verified.
Sign up for a SolidTrust Pay account now and get yourself verified by June 16th to take full advantage of this event!
Our hope is that this will help the people who use our services to support their families back home. We want to see them get ahead right at the start of summer as we head into the growing season for many countries. We want our users to be as successful as possible. Because when one of us grows, we all grow.
So, in solidarity with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), we hereby declare that we fully endorse and support the following pledge:
To all IFAD’s Member States,
We, SolidTrust Pay, fully endorse the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR).
The IDFR was unanimously proclaimed by all 176 IFAD Member States at its Governing Council in February 2015. In December 2016, the General Assembly of the United Nations took note of this proclamation.
June 16 is officially designated as International Day of Family Remittances. The day aims to recognize, and to raise global awareness of the fundamental contribution made by migrant workers to the wellbeing of their families and communities back home, and to the sustainable development of their countries of origin.
Remittances represent one the largest single financial forces for good on the planet. At $445 billion to developing countries, the money sent home annually by migrant workers dwarfs international aid and, in some instances, foreign direct investment too. Remittances also promote financial inclusion and disproportionately benefit both the poor and women in emerging markets. Hundreds of millions of families globally rely on these money flows to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, and to provide education and better opportunities for the future.
Today is a celebration of the hard work, sacrifice and generosity of international migrant workers. As stakeholders in the remittance industry, we pledge to work together to enhance innovative financial technology, provide greater efficiency and lower the cost for a more accessible financial sector to all in order to enable poor people to control their financial life and to be agents of change.
We call upon governments, regulators, financial institutions and development actors to join forces towards this great achievement.
We are committed to celebrating the power of remittances with people throughout the world.
Happy International Day of Family Remittances