Quick Contact

News and Updates

Cryptolocker Gang “Hacked” by Law Enforcement; Victims Saved

The cybercriminal gang responsible for cryptolocker, the malicious software that encrypted computer files and charged victims a ransom for the key to get the files back, was in turn hacked by law enforcement and security companies in a move that has allowed victims to unencrypt their files for free.

Law enforcement began to close in on the cryptolocker gang in May of this year, confiscating some of the infected computers used to remotely spread the malware, according to the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28661463 ).  The cybercriminals evidently became concerned about the “safety” of the encryption key database, and decided to make a remote copy.  What they did not know was law enforcement had in fact penetrated or “hacked into” the gang’s network and were able to make a copy of the database as it was transmitted.  Law enforcement has since publically released the encryption keys through an online website (www.decryptolocker.com ).  Cryptolocker victims can retrieve the encryption keys for free on this site, avoiding the need to pay the $400 ransom.

It is estimated a total of 500,000 computers worldwide were infected by the cryptolocker malware, although many of those whose files were encrypted recovered through the use of their backups instead of paying the ransom.  Analysis of the criminal’s database indicates that approximately 1.3% of the victims did pay the ransom, netting the gang approximately $3 million.

The same gang, with its roots traced to Russia (although not the government of Russia), is also allegedly responsible for the “Gameover Zeus” malware, which targets online banking, and is thought to have impacted millions of victims worldwide.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment

Sound Technology Services sign up form

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non

Sound Technology Serviceslogin form