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Makers of uncrackable ransomware hand over the key

Engadget Engadget 19/05/2016 Daniel Cooper
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The creators of a virus that forces users to pay to recover their own files seem to have turned over a new leaf. Security researchers at ESET are reporting that TeslaCrypt's developers posted the master encryption key, enabling ESET to develop a free fix. According to the firm, the creators of the virus were "wrapping up" their activities, and when a researcher asked for the master key, it was simply handed over. ESET has subsequently been able to produce a decryption tool (available here) that'll enable anyone affected to get their files back.

ESET has gone to great pains to point out that ransomware is still one of the largest threats to people's data online. It advises that everyone should keep their operating system updated and use a good anti-virus, as well as making regular backups of anything they wouldn't want to lose. There's also the question as to why TeslaCrypt's developers were so willing to hand over the keys, but let's hope that they decided to do the right thing. The alternative is just too horrible to contemplate.


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