Cerber ransomware sold as a service, speaks to victims

Cerber has taken creepiness for victims and affordability for criminals to a new level

A new file-encrypting ransomware program called Cerber has taken creepiness for victims, but also affordability for criminals, to a new level.

In terms of functionality Cerber is not very different than other ransomware threats. It encrypts files with the strong AES-256 algorithm and targets dozens of file types, including documents, pictures, audio files, videos, archives and backups.

The program encrypts file contents and file names and changes the original extensions to .cerber. It can also scan for and encrypt available network shares even if they are not mapped to a drive letter in the computer.

Once the encryption process is done, Cerber will drop three files on the victim's desktop named "# DECRYPT MY FILES #." They contain the ransom demand and instructions on how to pay it. One of those files is in TXT format, one is HTML and the third contains a VBS (Visual Basic Scripting).

The VBS file is unusual. According to Lawrence Abrams, administrator of the technical support forum BleepingComputer.com, the file contains text-to-speech code that converts text into an audio message.

"When the above script is executed, your computer will speak a message stating that your computer's files were encrypted and will repeat itself numerous times," Abrams said in a blog post.

According to Cyber intelligence outfit SenseCy, Cerber's creators are selling the ransomware as a service on a private Russian-language forum. This makes it available to low-level criminals who might not have the coding skills or resources to create their own ransomware. It also means that this threat might see widespread distribution.

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

Lucian Constantin

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?