Buran is a family of commodity ransomware, compiled with Borland Delphi. It was analyzed by ESET researchers in April 2019, who call it Win32/Filecoder.Buhtrap. In May 2019, Buran was discovered being sold in Russian-speaking underground forums. Buran’s developers market the malware to potential operators as a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) scheme, taking a 25% cut of any ransom payments in exchange for a “decoder” used to decrypt victims’ files. The affiliate scheme has been advertised on several forums by a user called buransupport, most recently on 4 September 2019.

The BURAN Ransomware gains access to a system, it begins the attack by launching a scan with the intention of locating all the files, which will be encrypted. When this is done successfully, the BURAN Ransomware starts the encryption process. When the files have undergone the encryption process of the BURAN Ransomware, they would have their names changed. The BURAN Ransomware applies an extension of randomly generated numbers, which are unique for each victim (for example ‘.7292BA7F-1643-8E1F-6AC2-D3B47F9992AC’). Then, the BURAN Ransomware will drop its ransom note. The note is called ‘!!! YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.txt.’ It is a common practice with ransomware authors to use all caps and includes symbols when naming the ransom note as it is more likely to attract the attention of the victim. In the note, the attackers inform the victim that their files have been infected and, allegedly, they can help. The authors of the BURAN Ransomware go on to provide the victim with two email addresses where they are meant to be contacted – recovery_server@protonmail.com and recovery1server@cock.li. They insist that the victim sends an email to both addresses.

Buran is proliferated using Rig Exploit Kit, however, these ransomware infections are also often spread using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, fake software updaters/cracks, and trojans. Criminals use spam campaigns to send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails consisting of malicious attachments (link and/or files), and deceptive messages encouraging recipients to open them. Criminals often present these attachments as important documents, such as receipts, invoices, bills, and similar. These are attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients into opening the files. Unofficial download sources (peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, free file hosting websites, freeware download sites, etc.) are also used in a similar manner. Criminals use these sources to proliferate malware by presenting malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manual download/installation of malware. Fake software updaters usually infect computers by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. The same applies to fake ‘cracks’. Rather than enabling paid features, these tools inject malware into the system. Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers to download/install additional malware.

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Buran ransomware.

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