New tool helps ransomware victims indentify the malware family

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Apr 15, 2016

Malware infections are never fun, but ransomware is particularly nasty and the plague doesn't seem likely to cease any time soon: new families are spotted almost daily.

A small silver lining in this dark cloud is the fact that crypto is hard for the bad guys too: they have made many mistakes implementing their encryption algorithms, and this has helped security researchers write tools that recover files encrypted by quite a few malware families.

Of course, the release of such tools — and especially blog posts that explain in full detail how the tools work gives the malware authors a heads up that they have made a mistake. At Botconf last year, Fox-IT researcher Yonathan Klijnsma, who maintains the Cryptowall Tracker, explained how the authors of Cryptowall hardened their encryption algorithm following public blog posts pointing out mistakes.

Moreover, for a not-so-tech-savvy victim, it isn't always easy to identify which ransomware is present on their system — a situation made worse by the fact that names and designs tend to be shared among multiple families.

Thankfully, there is now a solution for that. The people behind the MalwareHunterTeam have release the ID Ransomware tool, which allows anyone to upload a ransom note or an encrypted file and will then determine which of the more than 50 known ransomware families has encrypted the files.

Of course, there is no guarantee that there is a decryption tool available for the ransomware in question. The older families in particular tend to have crypto that can't be broken. But against this threat, every infected computer that we are able to decrypt is worth it.

locky_16mar.pngRansom note of the Locky ransomware. Found in March during our VBWeb research.

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

First 11 partners of VB2019 announced

We are excited to announce the first 11 companies to partner with VB2019, whose support will help ensure a great event.

VB2018 paper: Fake News, Inc.

A former reporter by profession, Andrew Brandt's curiosity was piqued when he came across what appeared at first glance to be the website of a small-town newspaper based in Illinois, but under scrutiny, things didn’t add up. At VB2018 he presented a…

Paper: Alternative communication channel over NTP

In a new paper published today, independent researcher Nikolaos Tsapakis writes about the possibilities of malware using NTP as a covert communication channel and how to stop this.

VB2019 conference programme announced

VB is excited to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

VB2018 paper: Under the hood - the automotive challenge

Car hacking has become a hot subject in recent years, and at VB2018 in Montreal, Argus Cyber Security's Inbar Raz presented a paper that provides an introduction to the subject, looking at the complex problem, examples of car hacks, and the…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.