One of the most destructive and debilitating malware programs to come through in the past decade goes by the name Cryptolocker. It’s a malicious software program that will lock and encrypt your files and force you to pay a ransom within a certain amount of time in order to obtain the encryption key to unlock your files. If you don’t pay within the first time limit, the fee doubles. The bad news is that without the encryption key, your files are basically gone for good. It was first seen in September of 2013 and it has been spreading since then.
This type of malware is also known as “ransomware”, and it’s particularly nasty. It was spread through email downloads for the most part.
Thankfully, however, two computer security firms known as FireEye (California) and Fox-IT (Netherlands) have teamed up to offer a decryption service over at decryptolocker.com. It seems that these firms have obtained several of the encryption keys used by the malware and are offering it for free to victims. It is unknown just how these two firms obtained the keys, and they are remaining rather tight lipped about the whole process. It is thought, however, that the keys were obtained when the international effort “Operation Tovar” was launched in an international effort to take down the GameOver Zeus botnet infrastructure that was used to distribute Cryptolocker. The botnet consisted of almost 1 million estimated infected machines that were harnessed to work together in order to operate a platform from which CryptoLocker was distributed and run.
Decryptolocker.com helps users by allowing them to upload just one of the infected files to their servers. From there, the encryption key is detected, and if they have the right key for you (there are only a few) they will allow you to download software to unlock the rest of your files.
It’s truly a joyous occasion for people whose files have been compromised by this malicious software.