Ransomware viruses have seen a boom lately which has pushed cyber-security firms to attempt and crack them, making this a cyber-war with the average user in the middle. Just like in any other war, the technology is also pushed to the limits and it evolves constantly. Ransomware viruses have begun to use evasive techniques, stronger encryption, more threatening messages, newer payment methods and even live customer support. Not only this but one of the new “features” is so called Cipher Block Chaining or CBC mode which breaks encrypted files if you try to tamper with them. But now there is a new ransomware type of viruses that is growing in popularity and it is on a whole another level In terms of what impact can the virus do to harm your computer. It is called doxware and it comes from the urban term “doxxing”.
Generally, by definition, doxing or “doxxing” as some prefer to call it means the following:
Doxxing is very common when it comes to people who are trying to hide their personal information or real identity on the web, kind of “online shaming”, per say. From there comes the original term – Doxware. Doxware is type of ransomware viruses that has evolved from the traditional “pay or you will never see your files again” to “pay or your personal pictures, videos, documents will be posted online”. One very clear example of the new emerging trend is the evolved into doxware Epic Ransomware which not only aims to delete your files randomly on the Russian roulette principle but also threatens to expose your private messages to your friends and anyone in your social media circles (Facebook friends and others).
And what researchers see evolving is not only viruses like Epic, but also ransomware that in addition to encryption your personal files, it basically acts like an infostealer as well. This is very dangerous because all of your personal files belong to the cyber-criminals and they can do whatever they want with it and even paying the ransom may not guarantee that this private information will be erased permanently from the cyber-criminals’ servers. Researchers are convinced that this ongoing growing trend will continue to gain popularity and because it is very difficult to catch the criminals behind it, it is likely to succeed in becoming the modern ransomware type of threat.
The primary reason why fears are growing of the increasing popularity of Doxware is that it works and is extremely profitable. And not only this, if the cyber-criminals decide to hold on to your personal files, they may ask ransom more than once. It is extremely important to protect yourself against these threats and know how to secure your computer and your important data properly.