A new widespread ransomware worm, known as “Bad Rabbit,” that hit over 200 major organisations, primarily in Russia and Ukraine this week leverages a stolen NSA exploit released by the Shadow Brokers this April to spread across victims’ networks.
Earlier it was reported that this week’s crypto-ransomware outbreak did not use any National Security Agency-developed exploits, neither EternalRomance nor EternalBlue, but a recent report from Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence revealed that the Bad Rabbit ransomware did use EternalRomance exploit.
NotPetya ransomware (also known as ExPetr and Nyetya) that infected tens of thousands of systems back in June also leveraged the EternalRomance exploit, along with another NSA’s leaked Windows hacking exploit EternalBlue, which was used in the WannaCry ransomware outbreak.
EternalRomance is one of many hacking tools allegedly belonged to the NSA’s elite hacking team called Equation Group that were leaked by the infamous hacking group calling itself Shadow Brokers in April this year.
EternalRomance is a remote code execution exploit that takes advantage of a flaw (CVE-2017-0145) in Microsoft’s Windows Server Message Block (SMB), a protocol for transferring data between connected Windows computers, to bypass security over file-sharing connections, thereby enabling remote code execution on Windows clients and servers.
Along with EternalChampion, EternalBlue, EternalSynergy and other NSA exploits released by the Shadow Brokers, the EternalRomance vulnerability was also patched by Microsoft this March with the release of a security bulletin (MS17-010).
Bad Rabbit was reportedly distributed via drive-by download attacks via compromised Russian media sites, using fake Adobe Flash players installer to lure victims’ into install malware unwittingly and demanding 0.05 bitcoin (~ $285) from victims to unlock their systems.