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New Decryption Tool Offered to Combat GandCrab Ransomware Before it Retires

The attackers behind the vicious ransomware known as GandCrab have made their money (loosely estimated at over $2 billion) and are retiring. Most of us work for a living and then retire, but these guys steal money to retire. A lot of money. Shortly after their announcement that they are retiring (no doubt to figure out a new way to steal from us), a decryption tool to nullify the ransomware is being offered through a collaboration led by the FBI, Europol, Bitdefender, and others.

According to ZDNet, “It is thought that over 1.5 million Windows users have been infected with GandCrab since it first emerged in January 2018…by…one of the most aggressive forms of ransomware.”

The decryption tool being offered responds to the most recent versions of the ransomware (GandCrab 5.0 through GandCrab 5.2) and allows users who have been previously attacked by older versions to retrieve the encrypted files.

Bitdefender is releasing a decryptor tool and launching the No More Ransom project.

Although it is good news that the GandCrab attackers are shutting down their operation, it could present problems for victims, because it means that when GandCrab shuts down, all of the keys that can open files for victims will be deleted and the victims will lose forever the ability to restore the files. Further, once the keys are deleted, even if they pay the ransom, they will not be able to get the key.

Therefore, FBI, Europol, Bitdefender, and others have recommended that companies which have fallen victim to GandCrab use the tool to restore any affected files before the encryption keys are destroyed.

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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence
Partner

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...

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