GandCrab, a new ransomware-as-a-service emerges from Russian crime underground

Pierluigi Paganini February 04, 2018

Experts at cyber security firm LMNTRIX have discovered a new ransomware-as-a-service dubbed GandCrab. advertised in Russian hacking community on the dark web.

Experts at cyber security firm LMNTRIX have discovered a new ransomware-as-a-service in the dark web dubbed GandCrab.

GandCrab raas

The GandCrab was advertised in Russian hacking community, researchers noticed that authors leverage the RIG and GrandSoft exploit kits to distribute the malware.

“Over the last three days LMNTRIX Labs has been tracking an influx of GandCrab ransomware. The ransomware samples are being pushed by RIG Exploit delivery channels.” reads the analysis published by LMNTRIX.

GandCrab raas

As usually happen for Russian threat actors, members cannot use the ransomware to infect systems in countries in the former Soviet Republics that now comprise the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Below some interesting points from the advertisement:

  • Prospective buyers are asked to join the ‘partner program’, in which profits from the ransomware are split 60:40
  • Large’ partners are able to increase their percentage of proceeds to 70 per cent
  • As a Ransomware-as-a-service offering, technical support and updates are offered to ‘partners’
  • Partners are prohibited from targeting countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine) – violating this rule results in account deletion
  • Partners must apply to use the ransomware, and there is a limited amount of ‘seats’ available.” reads the translation of the ad.

The operators behind the RaaS offer they platform maintaining 40% of the ransom, the percentage is reduced to 30% for large partners.

Once infected, if the victim does not pay on time, he will have to pay a double ransom.

Other specific features related to GandCrab RaaS is the that it allows payment using the cryptocurrency Dash and the service is provided by a server hosted on a .bit domain.

The authors of the GandCrab RaaS also offers technical support and updates to its members, they also published a video tutorial that shows how the ransomware is able to avoid antivirus detection.

The RaaS implements a user-friendly admin console, which is accessible via Tor Network, to allow malware customization (i.e. ransom amount, individual bots and encryption masks)

The experts shared the Indicators of Compromise in their blog post.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – GandCrab RaaS, cybercrime)

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