March 21, 2017
Kirk ransomware comes in guise of stress -testing tool and demands 50 Monero ($1,100) to unlock.
A new kind of ransomware is doing the rounds these days with a Star Trek-themed decoder and a new ransom payment unit, Monero, according to a report by Cluley Associates. Called Kirk, the ransomware comes in the guise of a legitimate Low Orbital Ion Cannon (LOIC) tool used for testing a website’s capacity to deal with traffic load.
First noticed by Jakub Kroustek of Avast, Kirk appears on the victim’s website as “loic_win32.exe” which quietly creates an AES key that encrypts the files. Then a RSA-4096 public key converts the AES key into “pwd.” After encryption, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock appear with the ransom demand.
Interestingly, Kirk moves away from the popular bitcoin crypto-currency and demands Monero. It first starts with 50 units of Monero ($1,100) and moves up to 500 units after two weeks ($11,000). Failure to pay up within a month results in the key being deleted.
If the victim agrees to pay the ransom, Spock appears on the screen to unlock the files.
Experts say pwd should not be deleted if victim will pay ransom because it contains the key.