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Ransomware author apologises to victims, pushes out decryption keys.

The author of a new crypto-ransomware known as Locker has apparently had a change of heart about using it against victims, and has posted an apology for unleashing the threat.

Locker emerged last week, lying dormant on infected

computers until May 25, according to a recent report from Symantec. Once

activated, the ransomware encrypted files on compromised computers and held

them for ransom.

However, after Locker was activated, the alleged author

apparently had a change of heart about using it against people, and posted an apology

about the ransomware. The author then provided free access to a database

containing the decryption keys, along with a declaration that the automatic

decryption of files would start on June 2.

"I'm sorry about the encryption, your files are unlocked for free. Be good to the world and don't forget to smile :)," the author's message read.

Norton by Symantec said that, before the author's sudden

change of heart, a total of $169 via 22 ransoms had been handed over in Bitcoin

payments.

"Given the

reported low earnings of this crypto ransomware, Norton hypothesizes that the

malware author may have realized that the risk versus the penalties of getting

caught was not worth it, lost control of the threat, risked being exposed, or

merely regretted this/her actions," the security vendor said.

Crypto-ransomware

has become a lucrative enterprise for cybercriminals: in 2014, ransomware attacks grew 113%, driven by more than a

4,000% increase in crypto-ransomware attacks.

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Publication:ITP.net
Date:Jun 3, 2015
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