On June 24, it has been reported by ESET that CryCryptor appeared shortly after Canada’s government announced a COVID-19 tracing app that utilizes voluntary information submitted by citizens.
Once the victim installs the fake app, the ransomware encrypts all files, leaving a “readme” note with the attacker’s e-mail instead of locking the device. For this particular attack, ransom instructions appear to only be distributed via e-mail.
However, the ransomware’s code is based on an open source project which is available through GitHub.
Brand-new CryCyptor ransomware impersonates a Canadian government-backed COVID-19 app to target Android users https://t.co/GSMPScFQFH — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) June 25, 2020
Experts dismiss the claim that this ransomware “project” has research purposes:
“The developers of the open source ransomware, who named it CryDroid, must have known the code would be used for malicious purposes. In an attempt to disguise the project as research, they claim they uploaded the code to the VirusTotal service. While it’s unclear who uploaded the sample, it indeed appeared on VirusTotal the same day the code was published on GitHub.”
Likewise, ESET analysts have recently created an Android decryption app for victims of CryCryptor.
Thus, they clarify that it only works with the current version.