Bleeping Computer recently reported that a student attempted to pirate an expensive data visualization software, which resulted in a Ryuk ransomware attack.

We’ve seen ransomware distributed in the past with STOP and the Exorcist ransomware, crypto hacks, and information stealing trojans. But this type of attack takes ransomware attacks to a whole other level.

A student’s laptop was gained access, and the student had searched for data visualization software that they wanted to install at home. Instead of buying a legit license, the student proceeded to search for a cracked version and downloaded it. This resulted in an infection with an information-stealing trojan. This included the same credentials that were used by Ryuk cybercriminals to log into the institute.

Ryuk ransomware is not to be messed with. We recently covered a story from a few months ago that a Ryuk strain has a worm-like feature in your Window LAN devices, and the ransomware-as-a-service gang has only gotten more tactical in their schemes.

Unfortunately, this will not be the last time a user tries to purchase cracked software. Continual user education is essential to ensure phishing and ransomware attacks do not occur for your organization in the future. New-school security awareness training can ensure your users are up-to-date on the latest attacks.