It’s a new year, and with it comes a new ransomware called Babuk Locker that targets corporate victims in human-operated attacks.
Babuk Locker is a new ransomware operation that launched at the beginning of 2021 and has since amassed a small list of victims from around the world.
From ransom negotiations with victims seen by BleepingComputer, demands range from $60,000 to $85,000 in Bitcoin.
How the Babuk Locker encrypts devices
Each Babuk Locker executables analyzed by BleepingComputer has been customized on a per-victim basis to contain a hardcoded extension, ransom note, and a Tor victim URL.
According to security researcher Chuong Dong who also analyzed the new ransomware, Babuk Locker’s coding is amateurish but includes secure encryption that prevents victims from recovering their files for free.
“Despite the amateur coding practices used, its strong encryption scheme that utilizes Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman algorithm has proven effective in attacking a lot of companies so far,” Dong stated in his report.
When launched, the threat actors can use a command-line argument to control how the ransomware should encrypt network shares and whether they should be encrypted before the local file system. The command-line arguments that control this behavior are listed below:
-lanfirst -lansecond -nolan
Once launched, the ransomware will terminate various Windows services and processes known to keep files open and prevent encryption. The terminated programs include database servers, mail servers, backup software, mail clients, and web browsers.
When encrypting files, Babuk Locker will use a hardcoded extension and append it to each encrypted file, as shown below. The current hardcoded extension used for all victims so far is .__NIST_K571__.
A ransom note named How To Restore Your Files.txt will be created in each folder. This ransom note contains basic information on what happened during the attack and a link to a Tor site where the victim can negotiate with the ransomware operators.
One of the ransom notes seen by BleepingComputer contains the victim’s name and links to images proving that the threat actors stole…