After update, Kaspersky tool no longer combats CryptXXX ransomware

Kaspersky Lab
Ransomware is a growing threat to anyone that uses a computer — even the U.S. House of Representatives has been a recent target. This kind of attack can result in a desperate situation for the victim, and there’s now word that a common strain of the malware has been upgraded to resist countermeasures.

Last month, Kaspersky released a tool intended to help users targeted by the CryptXXX ransomware regain access to their systems without paying a bounty to the culprits. Now, researchers at Proof Point have identified a new version of the malware that can sidestep the company’s RannohDecrypter utility.

RannohDecrypter was originally developed to help users targeted by the Rannoh Trojan, but was later expanded to tackle CryptXXX as well. In response to this, the authors of CryptXXX have made some adjustments to the way their weapon targets systems to extort their owners.

Version 2.006 of CryptXXX locks down the targeted system completely, which was initially interpreted by Proof Point as a “quick and dirty” means of preventing the use of RannohDecrypter. However, there’s another more sophisticated strategy at play that removes Kaspersky’s tool from the equation.

CryptXXX now causes an error message to read, “encrypted file size does not equal to original” when the user attempts to employ RannohDecrypter. It’s thought that the malware is using the zlib data compression library as a means of counteracting the utility.

This development illustrates the cat-and-mouse game of modern security research. Research teams and malware developers are continually trying to stay one step ahead of the competition, which often boils down to studying the last move made by their opponent.

The advice on how to stay safe remains the same; keep your security software up to date, and avoid clicking any suspicious links, or opening unsolicited email attachments.


Opera web browser targets enhanced accessibility with major redesign

The browser wars are heating up. In the latest move for Opera, a new development release pushes it even closer to Chrome with a redesign and overall goal of redefining the modern web browser. 

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

Blockchain does way more than power Bitcoin. Here's how it works

What is a blockchain? It was once merely an academic idea and today it's the backbone of the cryptographic industry, helping to send billions of dollars worth of digital assets all over the world.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…

DLSS is finally arriving in games, but how does Nvidia's super-sampling actually work?

Nvidia's new DLSS technology is exciting, but what is it and how does it work? It's not quite anti-aliasing and it's not quite super sampling. It's a little bit of both and the end results can be impressive.

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.