CoinVault and Bitcryptor ransomware victims don’t need to pay the ransom
Kaspersky Lab has added an additional 14,031 decryption keys to their free repository, enabling all those who have fallen victim to CoinVault and Bitcryptor ransomware to retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay a ransom to cybercriminals.
The cybercriminals behind CoinVault tried to infect tens of thousands of computers worldwide, with the majority of victims in the Netherlands, Germany, the USA, France and the UK. Consumers from a total of 108 countries were affected. The criminals succeeded in locking at least 1,500 Windows-based machines, demanding bitcoins from users to decrypt their files.
Kaspersky Lab discovered the first version of CoinVault in May 2014, and later completed a thorough analysis of all the associated malware samples for the investigation run by the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) of the Netherlands’ police and the Netherlands’ National Prosecutors Office.
During the joint investigation, the NHTCU and the Netherlands’ National Prosecutors Office obtained databases from CoinVault command & control servers. These servers contained Initialization Vectors (IVs), keys and private bitcoin wallets, which helped Kaspersky Lab and the NHTCU to create a special repository of decryption keys: noransom.kaspersky.com.
Since April 2015, a total of 14,755 keys have been made available for victims so that they can release their files by using the decryption application developed by Kaspersky Lab’s security experts to release their files. In September, the Dutch police arrested two men in the Netherlands on suspicion of involvement in the ransomware attacks. With these arrests, and the fact that the last portion of keys has now been obtained from the server, the case on the CoinVault attacks is now closed.
“The CoinVault story is ending: the remaining victims can retrieve their files and the cybercriminals have been caught, thanks to collaboration between the Dutch police, Kaspersky Lab and Panda Security. The CoinVault investigation has been unique in that we have been able to retrieve all the keys. Through sheer hard work we were able to disrupt the entire business model of the cybercriminal group,” said Jornt van der Wiel, Security Researcher at Global Research and Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.