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6/17/2019
04:00 PM
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New Decryptor Unlocks Latest Versions of Gandcrab

The decryptor neutralizes GandCrab versions 5.0 through 5.2 and lets victims unlock their files for free.

A new decryption tool for the latest versions of GandCrab has been released for free as part of a collaborative effort among the FBI, Europol, private security firm Bitdefender, and a number of international law enforcement agencies from across Europe, participants announced today.

The new tool, available now at nomoreransom.org, neutralizes GandCrab versions 1 and 4, as well as versions 5 to 5.2, the most recent used by cybercriminals. Earlier decryptors for the ransomware have helped more than 30,000 victims recover data and save $50 million in unpaid ransoms. Further, these efforts have contributed to the demise of this operation: With the release of this latest decryption tool, there is now a means to unlock all iterations of GandCrab.

It's the beginning of the end for GandCrab, which first appeared in January 2018 and has since infected more than 1.5 million victims, Bitdefender estimates. Its growth can be partly attributed to its model: Through ransomware-as-a-service licensing, other cybercriminals could buy GandCrab on the Dark Web and spread it. While the attackers behind GandCrab claim to have extorted more than $2 billion from victims, experts say the real figure is likely less.

Still, it seems GandCrab was widespread and profitable enough to let its operators retire.

"According to the same claim, the GandCrab team has stopped affiliates from accessing new versions of the malware and has urged them to prepare for an imminent shutdown," writes Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, in a blog post on the news.

The newest decryptor can be found at the No More Ransom Project.

Read Europol's statement here and Bitdefender's post here.

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