Rombertik malware goes nuclear on your drive to avoid detection

rombertik malware goes nuclear on your drive to avoid detection bccvqg7
Image Credit: Cisco Talos
The newest form of malicious software is both shy and incredibly dramatic. Members of Cisco’s prestigious Talos malware team have revealed in a blog that a new style of malware, dubbed Rombertik, will automatically destroy itself and your hard drive if it realizes someone is trying to detect it.

At face value, Rombertik isn’t much different from most malware distributions, acting as a keylogger for your Web browser that hunts down any information might look remotely like a username/password combination or credit card number. These types of infections are a dime a dozen these days, but what makes Rombertik newsworthy is the way in which it attempts to avoid detection if it’s picked up by an antivirus scan or found in a folder by the user themselves.

Malware with prebuilt instructions on how to avoid detection is nothing new, and any malicious program worth its salt will generally have at least one or two shields set up to keep itself away from the gaze of watchful eyes. This can be anything from hijacking the AV program itself to display false results, to deleting the infected file before a user has a chance to run it past diagnostics.

Rombertik takes these tactics to a whole different level. It will automatically format a person’s hard drive if any part of the infection senses a disturbance to its operations is about to happen. There are a number of other camouflage techniques it will use before the nuclear option, such as loading up sandbox analysis tools with 950 million lines of code at once or attempting to overwrite the master boot record (MBR) to make the computer inoperable, but if all of these fail to prevent someone from getting a look at the innards of Rombertik, it wipes the hard drive it’s been installed on and takes all your data down with it.

Realistically, the only way you might be able to coax Rombertik into self-destruct mode is if you’re a high-level researcher who knows how to get past all its other defenses first, but the fact that the threat is still there is enough to have us checking links in our email twice before making any risky clicks too quick.


Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.

10 Nintendo Switch tips and tricks to get the most out of your hybrid console

Have a new Nintendo Switch? Awesome! It's a great console from the moment you turn it on, but owners can make it even better by using a few simple tips and tricks. Here's what every Switch owner should know.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.

You won't need a new hard drive with these tips for deleting games from a PS4

PlayStation 4 games eat up storage space quickly, which will inevitably require you to make room for new games. Here's how to delete and reinstall games on PS4 for those times when you have to manage your storage space.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.