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Emerging Ransomware Satana Encrypts Files and Blocks User Access

Industry News

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published on Healthcare IT News. It was written by Jessica Davis.


There’s a looming ransomware strain on the horizon, and it combines two malware strains into one for greater impact. Aptly-named Satana, Italian for devil or Satan, is an aggressive form of ransomware that wreaks havoc in two steps, according to the blog of internet security company Malwarebytes.

Satana is actually part of a copycat family, developed from malware-strain Petya, which blocks user access by infiltrating low-level structures. This differs from typical ransomware in that it encrypts files one at a time.

The virus’s first mode is similar to Petya, as it uses a typical portable executable (PE) file, or dropper, to infect and rewrite the low-level module, or bootloader, with a customized, tiny kernel, the blog authors wrote.

Satana’s second mode is similar to the ransomware bundle, Mischa, which acts as traditional ransomware and encrypts a system’s files one-by-one and demands a ransom for their release, according to Malwarebytes researchers.

Petya and Mischa are frequently used together by cybercriminals as something of an insurance policy for Petya, the authors explained. If the first mode of the ransomware fails, Mischa is released. Satana takes it a step further and combines both forms to infect the entire system in two steps.

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