Wed, May

NCC: USB Drives With RansomWare In Circulation

Tech Security

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning to members of the public that a group involved in cybercrime is delivering ransomware in USB thumb drives to target organizational networks. Ransomware is a type of malware created to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Ransom will then be demanded in exchange for decryption.

The commission stated that the new ransomware was discovered by security experts and has been categorized by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team’s (ngCERT) advisory as high-risk and critical.

This was disclosed in a statement by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

The statement reads in part, “According to the ngCERT advisory, the criminal group is said to have been mailing out USB thumb drives to many organizations in the hope that recipients will plug them into their PCs and install the ransomware on their networks. While businesses are being targeted, criminals could soon begin sending infected USB drives to individuals.

“Describing how the cybercrime group runs the ransomware, the ngCERT advisory says the USB drives contain so-called ‘BadUSB’ attacks. The BadUSB exploits the USB standards versatility and allows an attack to reprogram a USB drive to emulate a keyboard to create keystrokes and commands on a computer. It then installs malware prior to the operating system booting or spoofing a network card to redirect traffic.

“Numerous attack tools are also installed in the process that allows for exploitation of personal computers (PCs), lateral movement across a network, and installation of additional malware. The tools were used to deploy multiple ransomware strains, including BlackBatter and REvil.”

The commission however advised the general public not to panic and said that ngCERT has offered recommendations that could be taken to prevent the cybercrime group from infecting a user’s system with the ransomware.

According to the statement, “These recommendations include a call on individuals and organizations not to insert USB drives from unknown sources, even if they’re addressed to you or your organization. In addition, if the USB drive comes from a company or a person that is not familiar with and trusts, it is recommended that one contacts the source to confirm they actually sent the USB drive.

“Finally, ngCERT has advised Information and Communication Technology as well as other internet users to report any incident of system compromises to ngCERT via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for technical assistance.”