STEEL Ransomware is a New Phobos Variant

We recently discovered a new ransomware variant belonging to the Phobos family called STEEL. This malicious software encrypts files and adds a unique ID, an email address (codeofhonor@tuta.io), and the ".STEEL" extension to filenames.

STEEL provides two ransom notes with contact information for victims, including an email address and a Telegram username (@Stop_24). The more detailed note instructs victims to provide their ID when contacting threat actors and allows them to send up to five files for free decryption, as long as they are no larger than 4 Mb and do not contain valuable information.

Victims are told not to rename files or use external software for their decryption as it may permanently damage them. Furthermore, if they do not follow these instructions, the threat actors may delete all encrypted data without providing any form of compensation.

It is important that users take steps to protect themselves from this type of attack by regularly backing up their data and keeping their systems up-to-date with the latest security patches. Users should also be aware of malicious emails and other malicious links that could lead to the installation of ransomware.

The STEEL ransomware note

The full text of the STEEL ransomware note reads as follows:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail codeofhonor@tuta.io
Write this ID in the title of your message -
If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, please contact us by Telegram.org account: @Stop_24
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

How can ransomware like STEEL get inside your computer?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that can infect your home computer and encrypt your files, making them inaccessible until you pay a ransom. It can be spread through malicious links in emails or websites, as well as through downloads from untrusted sources. Once installed, ransomware will typically display a message demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key to unlock your files.

To protect yourself from ransomware, it is important to keep your computer up-to-date with the latest security patches and antivirus software. Additionally, you should avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from untrusted sources. Regularly backing up your data is also essential so that if you do become infected with ransomware, you can restore your data from the backup instead of paying the ransom. Finally, be aware of phishing emails and other malicious links that could lead to the installation of ransomware on your computer.

January 17, 2023