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TeslaCrypt developers shut down shop, release master decryption key

By Shawn Knight
May 19, 2016
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  1. Ransomware that holds your computer hostage until a fee has been paid to unlock it is pretty evil as far as nefarious code goes. Apparently, the group behind the TeslaCrypt ransomware came to that same conclusion as they’ve shut down the project and released the master decryption key.

    As Bleeping Computer explains, an analyst at security firm ESET noticed over the past few weeks that the developers of TeslaCrypt had slowly been closing their doors. Simultaneously, some distributors have been moving their operations to a different type of ransomware.

    On a whim, the ESET analyst hopped on the support chat of the Tesla payment site and asked if they would release the master decryption key. Surprisingly enough, they did just that and even posted it on their now defunct payment site.

    With the master key in hand, TeslaCrypt expert BloodDolly updated a program called TeslaDecoder to version 1.0. Now, the software can decrypt versions 3.0 and 4.0 of TeslaCrypt.

    TeslaCrypt first surfaced in early 2015 and was unique in that it targeted gamers by encrypting data such as save files and custom maps in addition to the usual gamut of documents, photos and so on. In total, it would look for 185 different file extensions to encrypt. The only way to regain access to your files was to pay the ransom or start fresh using backups of your data.

    Why TeslaCrypt’s creators decided to abandon the project and publish the master key remains a mystery. Perhaps they were in a major financial pinch and needed to generate some quick cash? That of course doesn’t make it right but the fact that they ultimately published the key and closed their operation does speak to their underlying character.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Mieksr

    Mieksr TS Enthusiast Posts: 38   +7

    Why is the guy playing LoL in the image?
     
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 371   +323

    That guy is in an internet cafe. Games like LOL, along with MOBAs in general, are quite popular to play there.
     
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,558   +598

    They're sorry??

    After inconveniencing tens of thousands of people and collecting who knows how much money - probably in the millions - they're sorry??

    What a bunch of spineless chumps.
     
    TheDreams likes this.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,507   +498

    Wasn't this illegal???
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,551   +2,894

    I think I am fortunate in not knowing anything about this topic.

    However
    if that is the case, that could be the reason behind the shutdown and release of master key.
     
  7. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,620   +376

    Yeah sounds like maybe the feds were onto them and they were trying to make amends?
     
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    Or maybe just kids...who screwed up and then realized it.
     
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

    Speaks to their underlying character? Uh huh :(

    What really happened was probably more likely that somehow, their get rich quick scheme was foiled, and they decided that they were just t!rd balls who were better off playing the lottery.

    IMO, if their underlying character was worth anything, they would never have done this in the first place!
     

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