Malware variants continue to evolve and spread in the first months of 2021. A list of the most prevalent variants includes:
- Ransom.clop - It stops various Windows processes and tries to uninstall antivirus software such as Microsoft Windows Defender. Then it encrypts its victim's files and posts a ransom note.
- NetWalker - In addition to encrypting files and demanding a ransom, NetWalker uploads all of a victim's documents and threatens to publish them on the underground web if the ransom is not paid. It is sold to qualifying criminals in a new category: Ransomware as a Service.
- Dopplepaymer - Another ransomware variant, Dopplepaymer has targeted companies in North America, South America and Europe. According to Palo Alto Networks: "[T]he operators behind DoppelPaymer have typically demanded is between $25,000 and $17 million. The average ransom paid in 2020, typically in Bitcoin, reached $276,587.41."
We are watching closely in 2021 for more variants using new, deceptive techniques to worm their way into business computers.