The Mount Locker ransomware has shaken things up in recent campaigns with more sophisticated scripting and anti-prevention features, according to researchers. And, the change in tactics appears to coincide with a rebranding for the malware into “AstroLocker.”
According to researchers, Mount Locker has been a swiftly moving threat. Having just hit the ransomware-as-a-service scene in the second half of 2020, the group released a major update in November that broadened its targeting capabilities (including searching for file extensions utilized by TurboTax tax-return software to encrypt). It also added improved detection evasion. Attacks have continued to escalate, and now, another major update signals “an aggressive shift in Mount Locker’s tactics,” according to an analysis released Thursday by GuidePoint Security.