Application security, Threat Management, Incident Response, TDR

Service with a smirk: PadCrypt ransomware first to offer live chat ‘help’

If they gave out customer service awards to ransomware developers, the black hats behind the newly discovered ransomware PadCrypt might win the prize.

According to a report from BleepingComputer, PadCrypt is the first ransomware to offer a live support chat feature for victims seeking online assistance with paying their ransom and decrypting locked files. Exposed last Sunday by Swiss security researchers at, PadCrypt is also the first ransomware program to provide victims with a software uninstaller, which is downloaded along with the malicious encryption code at the time of infection.

PadCrypt is distributed via “spam that contains a link to a zip archive that contains what appears to be a PDF file,” BleepingComputer wrote. But the supposed PDF file is actually an executable that downloads malware from cybercriminals' command-and-control servers. These C&C servers were disabled following their discovery, the report continued.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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