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Avast and Emsisoft release free decrypters for BigBobRoss ransomware



Image: ZDNet

Avast and Emsisoft, two cyber-security firms known for their antivirus products, released today free decrypters that can help victims of the BigBobRoss ransomware recover their files without paying the ransom demand.

The two decrypters are available for download from the Avast and Emsisoft sites, respectively.

The ransomware is one of the smaller strains that has been silently infecting victims for the past two months while larger ransomware operations like GandCrab, Ryuk, BitPaymer, SamSam, or Matrix have been grabbing all the headlines.

Emsisoft security researcher Michael Gillespie told ZDNet that the first sighting of BigBobRoss was on January 14, when some victims tried to identify the ransomware via ID-Ransomware, a service Gillespie built years ago to help victims determine the name of the ransomware that infected their systems.

Gillespie said he received 35 submissions from users across six countries that were later identified as BigBobRoss victims. But not all victims know to use this service, so the number of infected victims could be much higher.

It is unclear how the BigBobRoss crew operates to spread the ransomware or infect victims, at the time of writing.

“At least one victim on BleepingComputer did mention a server was hacked, but I’ve not heard anything else from victims about the infection vector, unfortunately,” Gillespie said.

Besides using the ID-Ransomware service, victims can easily determine if they’ve been infected by the BigBobRoss ransomware based on some visual queues.

First and foremost, once a victim is infected, most of its files will be encrypted and prepended with the “.obfuscated” file extension. For example, image.png will become image.png.obfuscated.

The ransom note is stored in a file named “Read Me.txt,” embedded below as a visual reference.

BigBobRoss ransom note

Image: Emsisoft (supplied)

The ransomware’s name comes from the email address found in this ransom note that hackers tell victims to reach out for additional information –

Despite using the .obfuscated file extension, the ransomware –written in C++ using QT– doesn’t actually obfuscate files, and actually encrypts them, with an AES-128 ECB algorithm.

Nevertheless, the Avast and Emsisoft BigBobRoss decrypters work around this encryption to help victims recover their files.

With news breaking this week that officials from Jackson County, Georgia paid $400,000 to recover from a Ryuk ransomware infection, it’s good to remember the work some companies do to help ransomware victims, when possible. Also, this is probably the best time to set up some offline backups of your most important data, jsut in case.

BigBobRoss Avast decrypter

Image: ZDNet

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Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Endpoint Management



Endpoint management is one of the most significant challenges in the enterprise today. An increasingly large percentage of our workforce is distributed and demands flexibility to work wherever they want, whenever they want. We must respond by giving them access to the services they require to do their jobs effectively. The alternative is that we, as a business, will suffer, lose good people, and become less competitive. However, we must achieve this essential access while maintaining security and control of our business’s data assets.

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This GigaOM Key Criteria Report describes UEM solutions and identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting such a solution. The corresponding GigaOm Radar Report identifies vendors and products that excel in this sector. Together, these reports give decision-makers an overview of the market to help them evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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Data Storage for Ever Changing Business Needs



Join GigaOm analyst Enrico Signoretti and CTERA CTO Aron Brand in this one-hour live webinar as they explore file storage trends and dynamics through the lens of IT infrastructure modernization projects.

The file and cloud experts will discuss the limitations of traditional NAS architectures in today’s corporate environments and how organizations are implementing distributed cloud file storage to solve remote collaboration, ransomware protection, and unstructured data growth challenges.

Signoretti and Brand will also examine the recently published GigaOm Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage, in which CTERA was named the leader. They will review the report’s key criteria and evaluation metrics for choosing a distributed cloud file storage platform, helping IT leaders to understand which vendors are most aligned to their needs today as well as 12-18 months down the road.

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High Performance Application Security Testing – Cloud WAF Security Platforms



This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research features analyst Jake Dolezal and will focus on comparing Web Application Firewall (WAF) security platforms in an enterprise with high performance needs.

This webinar will discuss web application security mechanisms deployed in the cloud. The cloud enables enterprises to differentiate and innovate with microservices at a rapid pace. However, the cloud is just as vulnerable, if not more so, to attacks and breaches as on-premises APIs and apps are. Our focus is specifically on approaches to securing apps, APIs, and microservices that are tuned for high performance and availability. We define “high performance” as companies that experience workloads of more than 1,000 transactions per second (tps) and require a maximum latency below 30 milliseconds across the landscape.

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