GermanWiper Ransomware Hits Germany Hard, Destroys Files, Asks For Ransom

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: For the past week, a new ransomware strain has been wreaking havoc across Germany. Named GermanWiper, this ransomware doesn’t encrypt files but instead it rewrites their content with zeroes, permanently destroying users’ data. As a result, any users who get infected by this ransomware should be aware that paying the ransom demand will not help them recover their files. Unless users had created offline backups of their data, their files are most likely gone for good. For now, the only good news is that this ransomware appears to be limited to spreading in German-speaking countries only, and with a focus on Germany primarily.

According to German security researcher Marius Genheimer and CERT-Bund, Germany’s Computer Emergency Response Team, the GermanWiper ransomware is currently being distributed via malicious email spam (malspam) campaigns. These emails claim to be job applications from a person named “Lena Kretschmer.” A CV is attached as a ZIP file to these emails, and contains a LNK shortcut file. The LNK file is boobytrapped and will install the GermanWiper ransomware. When users run this file, the ransomware will rewrite the content of various local files with the 0x00 (zero character), and append a new extension to all files. This extension has a format of five random alpha-numerical characters, such as .08kJA, .AVco3, .OQn1B, .rjzR8, etc.. After it “encrypts” all targeted files, GermanWiper will open the ransom note (an HTML file) inside the user’s default browser. The ransom note looks like the one below. A video of the infection process is also available here. Victims are given seven days to pay the ransom demand. It is important to remember that paying the ransom note won’t help users recover their files.

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