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New Phobos Ransomware Using Same Ransom Note as Dharma

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A new strain of ransomware known as “Phobos” is using the same ransom note employed by Dharma to demand payment from its victims.

Ransomware incident response provider Coveware found that Phobos’ ransom message differs from Dharma’s only in the branding used for its header and footer. Otherwise, the notes are exactly the same.

The ransom note for Phobos. Its branding differences with Dharma are circled in red. (Source: Coveware)

Both crypto-malware strains also use the same encrypted file name format. They each incorporate the original file name, a unique ID number and an attacker’s email to construct encrypted file names. Phobos’ note ends this name with the .phobos file extension, while Dharma is known to have leveraged numerous file extensions including .xxxxx, .like., .java, .bip, .combo, .arrow, .arena and .gamma.

That’s not the only similarity Phobos shares with Dharma, either. The two ransomware families use the same cut-and-paste response when a victim first contacts...(continued)

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