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Monday, 29 October 2018 10:53

Bitdefender updates decryption tool for Gandcrab ransomware

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Bitdefender updates decryption tool for Gandcrab ransomware Pixabay

Cyber security firm Bitdefender has released an updated version of its decryption tool for the prolific Windows ransomware known as Gandcrab, in collaboration with Europol, the Romanian police, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

In a statement, the company said the decryption tool would be effective in decrypting files that had been encrypted by the latest versions of Gandcrab.

The company released its first version of the decryption tool in March this year.

Gandcrab spreads via malicious advertisements which lead to landing pages for the Rig Exploit Kit. It can also spread through spam email and affiliated malware campaigns.

The ransomware also spreads through specially crafted email messages which pose as receipts.

Once Gandcrab has done its work, a ransom note, asking for anything between a few hundred and hundreds of thousands of DASH, a new cryptocurrency, is displayed on an infected system.

“The release of this decryption tool is a spectacular breakthrough that highlights the effectiveness of collaboration between security vendors and law enforcement agencies,” a Bitdefender spokesperson said.

“We have spent months on crypto-research and deployed considerable infrastructure to make this possible and help victims regain control of their digital lives at no cost.”

The spokesperson said the updated tool released could decrypt data encrypted by versions 1, 4 and 5 of GandCrab, and also all versions of the ransomware for a limited set of victims in Syria.

GandCrab has been very active since January, operating on an affiliate model with its developers making the malware available as a service to interested parties, in return for a share of the profits.

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Sam Varghese

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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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