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Ransomware Alert: Synack Ransomware uses Process Doppelgänging to become Unrecognizable

Bradley Cooper | Published: May 14, 2018 | Security|

Ransomware has become hackers’ favorite since last year and now it seems that the trend will continue for some more time. As there has been a sincere attempt among technologists to find out its remedy, the hackers are not sitting idle either. Recently, Kaspersky lab discovered that Synack ransomware has started to use Doppelgänging technology to remain untraceable. This is surely an alarming news when businesses all over the world lost data, money, and reputation due to some severe ransomware attacks in recent time. This post will talk about Synack ransomware, Doppelgänging process and how the usage of this process will create more trouble for the common business users.


What is Synack Ransomware


Synack or SynAck ransomware is a crypto-virus, which means it encrypts the data of your system and asks for ransom to release the encrypted files. The world has first seen the attack of this ransomware in the month of September, 2017. Since then, four different versions of this virus got released and each one has been more powerful than its previous version. However, according to the latest discovery, the ransomware is equipped with Doppelgänging process which makes it completely undetectable even by the latest security applications.

What is Doppelgänging Technology or Process :


Doppelgänging is a sophisticated and complicated process that enables Synack ransomware to contaminate a system without getting detected. This process is not unheard of, but it is being used in a ransomware for the very first time. Since this ransomware started using this process, its effectiveness has increased in at alarming rate. Doppelgänging uses NTFS file system and Windows Process loader so that it is not possible to analyze or detect this ransomware trojan. It inserts a hidden code inside a valid file. As a result, the process looks like a legitimate one, despite being infected by malicious code. The whole process is also called “fileless code injection technique” because it enables the code to function even in absence of files.

SynAck mainly spreads through Remote Desktop Protocol or RDP. Thus, they forcefully enter a system and encrypt data before asking for ransom. It also gets distributed by malicious spam, phishing emails, or infected advertisements. Users must remain conscious while opening any suspicious email, attachments, or links to avoid SynAck infection. SynAck ransomware functions if only it gets installed in the correct type of directory that does not process sandbox analysis. If it gets installed in a wrong directory, the ransomware will abort itself.

One fascinating fact about this version of Synack is that the users of certain countries like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Uzbekistan, etc., do not get infected by it. It tracks down the users of these particular countries by matching keyboard layout and waits for 300 seconds. Then it exits the system without infecting the files of that system for ransom. Rather, this malware is prone to infect users from USA, Iran, Germany, and Kuwait. Till now, most reports of Synack attack have come from USA, France, Netherlands, and Belgium.

What Should People do if Attacked by Synack Ransomware:

As the attack is untraceable, there is always a risk of getting infected by this ransomware. To avoid getting infected, users must back up their data, have an up-to-date anti-malware program installed, use latest versions of all applications, and use strong passwords for their Remote Desktop Connection account. If you get infected, experts advise not to pay ransom to these hackers as it only helps them to flourish more. What you need to do is to remove this ransomware from your computer. Removing it will not bring back your lost data, so always keep the latest backup of all your data. For this, you can go for SysTools Toolkit to regularly protect your data from attacks. Manual removal of this Ransomware is also dangerous. Always take help of some experts or use some good security programs to remove Synack ransomware from your machine.


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