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Ransomware’s Dangerous New Trick Is Double-Encrypting Your Data


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Double-encryption attacks have happened before, usually stemming from two separate ransomware gangs compromising the same victim at the same time. But antivirus company Emsisoft says it is aware of dozens of incidents in which the same actor or group intentionally layers two types of ransomware on top of each other.

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 Emsisoft has identified two distinct tactics. In the first, hackers encrypt data with ransomware A and then re-encrypt that data with ransomware B. The other path involves what Emsisoft calls a “side-by-side encryption” attack, in which attacks encrypt some of an organization's systems with ransomware A and others with ransomware B. In that case, data is only encrypted once, but a victim would need both decryption keys to unlock everything. The researchers also note that in this side-by-side scenario, attackers take steps to make the two distinct strains of ransomware look as similar as possible, so it's more difficult for incident responders to sort out what's going on. 

 

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