HC7 Planetary Ransomware demands Ethereum for decryption

Malicious software HC7 PLANETARY encrypts users' files and and requests victims to pay with Bitcoin, Monero and, surprisingly, Ethereum
10 January 2018   1902

One of the users, attacked by the malicious HC7 Planetary ransomware, has contacted Bleeping Computer asking for help and reporting that the ransoware encrypts users' files and adds the PLANETARY extension to the filename.

Mainly, the attackers demand Bitcoin or Monero as payment, as, for example, Cerber ransomware, which was capable of stealing from Bitcoin wallets; or BadRabbit, which attacked different institutions in five countries, demanding Bitcoin.

planetary ransomware screenshotPlanetary Ransomware victim's screenshot

There is little known about HC7 Planetary ransomware, but what is known so far is that ransomware developer hacks into networks using remote desktop and manually installs the ransomware on all computers which are accessible to them.

Planetary ransomware encrypted filesHC7 Planetary Ransomware encrypted files

Once having encrypted the files, ransomware demans the victim to pay $700 worth Bitcoin, Monero or Ethereum for decryption on one computer or $5000 for all the attacked network, and asks to include a sample encrypted file for proof of decrypt.

Considering the Ethereum's rapidly rising value, it is not surprising that ransomware creators start turning to this currency. Moreover, Ethereum's smart contract feature can make ransomware payment processing more efficient, as a victim can guarantee payment if the developer really decrypts the files.

At the moment of press, these are the main market parameters of Ethereum:

  • Average Price: $1 343,56
  • Market Cap: $130 176 860 817
  • 24h Volume: $9 785 200 000

We Need 100k Transactions\Sec, - Buterin

During the conversation with the head of Abra Vitalik noted that the developers are focused on several main issues - scalability, privacy and ease of use
21 March 2019   92

The founder of Ethereum, Vitaly Buterin, expressed the opinion that for the network of the second most capitalized cryptocurrency, it is vital in the long run to achieve a throughput of 100 thousand transactions per second. It is reported by The Daily Hodl.

During the conversation with the head of Abra, Bill Barkhidt, Vitalik noted that the developers are focused on several main issues - scalability, privacy and ease of use.

As far as the big problems, my top three at this point are probably scalability, privacy and usability. So scalability – the Ethereum blockchain right now can process 15 transactions per second. Really, we need 100,000.

Vitalik Buterin

Creator, Ethereum 

According to him, in the context of solving the problem of scaling, the Ethereum team has high hopes for sharding.

There are two major kinds of strategies that we’re working on for scalability. One is layer-one scaling and the other is layer-two scaling. Layer-one scaling basically means improving the blockchain protocol itself to process a larger set of transactions. And the main bottleneck with blockchains right now is basically every user has to download the whole blockchain. Which basically means the blockchain can’t hold more transactions than one guy’s computer can store.

And our solution to this, called sharding, basically means that you split up the different transactions to randomly selected, different groups of computers. And this basically means that the blockchain can process way more things than one single computer can hold. And that can increase scalability by maybe a factor of 1,000 or so, but then potentially even more, much later down the road

Vitalik Buterin

Creator, Ethereum 

According to Vitalik, Ethereum developers also continue active work on second-level scaling solutions.

So there’s two major classes of systems we’re working on in this regard. One is called state channels. And there’s a bunch of teams working on this. There’s a team called L4 in Toronto that’s done some really good work. And another project is Plasma. And there’s a lot of work that’s been done on that. OmiseGo is this decentralized exchange that’s building on plasma. There’s TheMatter. There’s more and more of these projects. And then, there’s one of our researchers, Karl Floersch, who has been working on implementation of a reasonably complete Plasma prime specification, which is the latest version of Plasma – which has some really cool features in terms of increasing scalability and reducing the amount of data you have to store.

Vitalik Buterin

Creator, Ethereum 

Discussing the problem of scaling, Buterin mentioned Bitcoin. According to him, developers should achieve a significant increase bandwidth of Ethereum network. Otherwise, the second cryptocurrency capitalization will not be actively involved in everyday transactions and a significant market share will remain behind BTC.

If Bitcoin wishes to just be a store of value, then realistically it’s probably fine, though I think they should switch to proof-of-stake. If they want to actually be a currency that people use for transactions, then I do think base-layer scaling, and also speeding up the blockchain and reducing block times at the base layer, is also something which is very important.

Vitalik Buterin

Creator, Ethereum 

On the last day of winter hardfork Constantinople hardfork took place on the Ethereum network.