A rather peculiar type of malware has recently hit the headlines. The new strain is dubbed GoodWill ransomware, and its novelty lies in the nature of the demands that victims have to fulfill to get the decryption key. The ransomware operators, claiming that they are “hungry for kindness”, expect their targets to support those in need. As part of ransomware demands, those forced acts of charity must be documented and shared online via the victim’s social media accounts.
The GoodWill ransomware strain was first spotted in March 2022. The malware analysis showed that the variant in question is .NET-based and uses the AES encrypt (aka Rijndael) to encrypt files on a compromised device. Researchers identified 1246 strings of this ransomware, with 91 overlapping with the HiddenTear.
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A very unusual threat actor has surfaced in late Spring 2022. The adversaries spread GoodWill ransomware, forcing their victims to be “gentle and kind” to get their files decrypted. Researchers from CloudSEK have tagged the threat actors behind the distribution of the strain as a Robin Hood-like adversary group, with some of the hackers’ traces indicating their Indian location.
The ransomware dubbed GoodWill is packed with UPX packers and lies dormant upon infection for almost 12 minutes to meddle with dynamic analysis.
The ransomware note includes a detailed description of what adversaries expect and instructions on three goodwill tasks performed by the victim and shared on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. Until the demands are fulfilled, the victim’s files are held encrypted.
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