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Wednesday, 13 January 2021 09:56

Bitdefender releases decryptor for Windows DarkSide ransomware

Bitdefender releases decryptor for Windows DarkSide ransomware Pixabay

Cyber security solutions provider Bitdefender has released a decryption tool for the DarkSide ransomware, a malware entity that made its appearance in August last year, and one that can attack only Microsoft's Windows operating system.

In a statement, Bitdefender's Threat Research director Bogdan Botezatu said: "Since the demise of GandCrab, players in the ransomware space have been fighting for supremacy and affiliates. DarkSide is one such competitor, and although it is relatively new, it has already successfully managed to infect multiple targets and stay relevant.

"The decryptor Bitdefender has released works on all infections to date and helps victims safely get their data back."

As the menace of Windows ransomware has continued to grow over the years, a number of security firms and public groups have come together to release free decryptors for those who have been affected.

Botezatu added: "Just like most modern ransomware, DarkSide's operators are attempting to exfiltrate confidential data prior to encryption and use it to blackmail the victim. This tactic once again shows how important layered defenses and managed detection and remediation services are to businesses of all sizes.

"Bitdefender is proud to continue giving back to the cyber security community by helping stop the spread of ransomware.

"Its researchers have been working on ransomware decryption tools for nearly half a decade in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and through NoMoreRansom, an alliance between cyber security vendors and law enforcement. Through the NoMoreRansom initiative, Bitdefender decryption tools alone account for 12 percent of the estimated $632 million in ransoms stopped."

The group behind DarkSide claimed that the decryption key had been created by Bitdefender using a private key that the firm had purchased from the group.

"Bitdefender has released a utility that can decrypt some of our Windows lockers. Linux decryption is impossible," the group said in a statement on its website. "The problem was in generating private keys in Linux. There are no encryption vulnerabilities or other problems in the locker."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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