Exploring the Psychological Mechanisms used in Ransomware Splash Screens

Date

2017

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

Type

Technical Report

Peer reviewed

No

Abstract

The present study examined a selection of 76 ransomware splash screens collected from a variety of sources. These splash screens were analysed according to surface information, including aspects of visual appearance, the use of language, cultural icons, payment and payment types. The results from the current study showed that, whilst there was a wide variation in the construction of ransomware splash screens, there was a good degree of commonality, particularly in terms of the structure and use of key aspects of social engineering used to elicit payment from the victims. There was the emergence of a sub-set of ransomware that, in the context of this report, was termed ‘Cuckoo’ ransomware. This type of attack often purported to be from an official source requesting payment for alleged transgressions.

Description

Keywords

Ransomware, Social Engineering, Psychology

Citation

Lee Hadlington. Exploring the Psychological Mechanisms used in Ransomware Splashscreens (2017). Report produced for SentinelOne

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science