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Snatch Ransomware Reboots to Windows Safe Mode to Bypass AV Tools

Accepted submission by Fnord666 at 2019-12-10 18:18:07

Snatch Ransomware Reboots to Windows Safe Mode to Bypass AV Tools []

Researchers discovered a new Snatch ransomware strain that will reboot computers it infects into Safe Mode to disable any resident security solutions and immediately starts encrypting files once the system loads.

Encrypting the victim's files is possible because most security tools are automatically disabled when Windows devices boot in Safe Mode as the Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) team and SophosLabs researchers found.

"Snatch can run on most common versions of Windows, from 7 through 10, in 32- and 64-bit versions," they add. "The samples we've seen are also packed with the open-source packer UPX to obfuscate their contents."

Snatch ransomware came out towards the end of 2018 and it became noticeably active during April 2019 as shown by a spike in ransom notes and encrypted file samples submitted to Michael Gillespie's ID Ransomware platform.

[...] To take advantage of anti-malware solutions not loading in Safe Mode, the Snatch ransomware component installs itself as a Windows service dubbed SuperBackupMan capable of running in Safe Mode that can't be stopped or paused, and then force restarts the compromised machine.

After the device enters Windows Safe Mode, Snatch ransomware will delete "all the Volume Shadow Copies on the system" as the researchers discovered, preventing "forensic recovery of the files encrypted by the ransomware."

In the next stage, the malware will start encrypting its victims' files, with the attackers now being sure that recovery without payment is impossible.

Original Submission