Eset announced on Wednesday that it has developed a free tool that victims of all variants of the TeslaCrypt ransomware can use to unlock affected files. The criminal group behind TeslaCrypt recently abandoned support for the malicious software, Eset contacted the group anonymously using the channel TeslaCrypt’s operators offered to ransomware victims and asked for the universal master decryption key.
To everyone’s surprise, the group made the key public.
So why all the generosity? What possessed the criminal syndicate to share the master decryption key to software that’s made millions of dollars is unknown.
The software has made the secretive hacker group millions of dollars, and while the exact number is unknown TeslaCrypt made up 10% of the market share; which equates to roughly 80 million dollars.
It’s possible that the group felt discontent for the damage done, more likely however is that this will be seen for the hackers to start fresh with an entirely new codebase. Or perhaps they are feeling law enforcement close in and are attempting to lay low and allow other ransomware authors to take priority for officials.
Moreover, maintaining good software of any kind can be a challenging and expensive endeavor. This likely is an important factor behind their actions no matter the end game.
While the move is unexpected it is highly unlikely that the group will stay out of the ransomware business for long.
Ransomware use declining
The use of ransomware over the last few weeks has fallen, which could be a great sign. But the trend is to new to represent any real sample … yet.
The decline of the current ransomware software on the market today most likely means that a new and improved version of the software is on its way in.
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