- Feb 4, 2016
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of the latest version of the Chaos ransomware line, dubbed Yashma.
"Though Chaos ransomware builder has only been in the wild for a year, Yashma claims to be the sixth version (v6.0) of this malware," BlackBerry research and intelligence team said in a report shared with The Hacker News.
Chaos is a customizable ransomware builder that emerged in underground forums on June 9, 2021, by falsely marketing itself as the .NET version of Ryuk despite sharing no such overlaps with the notorious counterpart.
The fact that it's offered for sale also means that any malicious actor can purchase the builder and develop their own ransomware strains, turning it into a potent threat.
It has since undergone five successive iterations aimed at improving its functionalities: version 2.0 on June 17, version 3.0 on July 5, version 4.0 on August 5, and version 5.0 in early 2022.
While the first three variants of Chaos functioned more like a destructive trojan than traditional ransomware, Chaos 4.0 expanded its encryption process by increasing the upper limit of files that can be encrypted to 2.1MB. Version 4.0 has also been actively weaponized by a ransomware collective known as Onyx as of April 2022 by making use of an updated ransom note and a refined list of file extensions that can be targeted.