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LockerGoga bug crashes ransomware before encrypting files

Image: Kevin Beaumont

LockerGoga, the ransomware that hit Norsk Hydro and two US chemical companies over the past month, contains a bug in its code that may allow victims to "vaccinate" their PCs and crash the ransomware before it encrypts any local files.

The bug, discovered by security researchers at Alert Logic, is located in a LockerGoga subroutine that executes before the encryption process begins.

The subroutine is a basic scan of all files on the victim's system, so the ransomware knows what files to encrypt and what to skip.

Alert Logic researchers say that if LockerGoga encounters an LNK (shortcut) file that contains an invalid path, the ransomware's process crashes without performing the subsequent encryption.

"We have identified two conditions for the '.lnk' file which would allow it to halt the ransomware in its tracks," the Alert Logic team said. "The '.lnk' file has been crafted to contain an invalid network path. The '.lnk' file has no associated RPC...(continued)

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