'Reveton' ransomware upgraded with powerful password stealer

Avast thinks its controllers are trying to diversify after profits have fallen

Reveton, a type of ransomware, has been upgraded with new password-stealing capabilities, according to Avast

Reveton, a type of ransomware, has been upgraded with new password-stealing capabilities, according to Avast

A type of malware called Reveton, which falsely warns users they've broken the law and demands payment of a fine, has been upgraded with powerful password stealing functions, according to Avast.

Reveton is in a class of nasty programs known as "ransomware," which includes the notorious Cryptolocker program that encrypts a computer's files. The FBI issued a warning about Reveton in August 2012 after its Internet Crime Complaint Center was flooded with complaints.

The malware often infects computers via drive-by download when a person visits a website rigged to automatically exploit software vulnerabilities. Users are helpless after the computer is locked, with Reveton demanding a few hundred dollars as ransom payable various web-money services.

Avast analyzed a version of Reveton that has a module containing the Pony password stealer, which can also steal virtual currency stored on a computer such as bitcoin.

Pony can pluck and decrypt encrypted passwords for FTP, VPN and email clients, web browsers and instant messaging programs.

The version of Reveton analyzed by Avast also has another password stealer from the Papras family of malware. It's not as effective as Pony but can disable security programs, the company wrote on its blog.

This particular sample of Reveton was pre-programmed to search a web browser's history and cookies to see if the user had visited online sites of 17 German banks, the company wrote.

Avast speculated the capabilities may have been added to Reveton due to falling profits from merely locking computers in an attempt to extract a ransom. Its authors have "decided to enter into a new black business area," it wrote.

Around February 2013, an ethnic Russian man was arrested in Dubai upon request of Spanish police for allegedly coordinating Reveton campaigns, netting €1 million (US$1.3 million).

Ten other people were also arrested on money laundering charges for allegedly laundering the proceeds and transferring funds to Russia, according to Trend Micro.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitymalwareAvast

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?