It seems that Janus Cybercrime Solutions, the author of the infamous ransomware Petya, is not responsible for this week’s global cyber attack that has reaped havoc across Europe. Janus has even offered to help with retrieving the files which were lost in the attack.
Although it seems like an altruistic gesture, it really is rather odd coming from a criminal organization that deals in deploying ransomware in the hands of other criminals. However, that could be just a fierce attempt to disassociate themselves from the ‘’NotPetya’’ malware, as Kaspersky Lab named it.
It looks like that the malware experts have finally agreed on the fact that NotPetya is actually not a ransomware, as they originally thought, but actually a wiper which is designed to cause permanent damage. Ransomware, on the other hand, is designed in a way that allows the data to be recovered if the required ransom is paid.
A security researcher the grugq offered the earliest depiction of what this malware might actually be: “The superficial resemblance to Petya is only skin deep. Although there is significant code sharing, the real Petya was a criminal enterprise for making money. This is definitely not designed to make money. This is designed to spread fast and cause damage, with a plausibly deniable cover of ‘ransomware.’”
Janus Cybercrime Solutions tweeted on Wednesday, after not being in the public for seven long months, that the data that is currently unavailable due to NotPetya attack might be recoverable and Janus has the key. We are still awaiting further explanations on this as Janus has yet to elaborate the statement.
Janus Cybercrime Solutions was launched in 2016 as a darknet-based website that was offered a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). This basically means that they are offering criminals a highly efficient ransomware platform for distribution. For a certain fee, clients are free to use the platform for their ‘endeavours’ with Janus, obviously, receiving a cut from the ransom that is subsequently collected.
Janus identifies as a professional cyber criminal organization that offers even technical support to its clients, complete with big reports and new beta platform features.