A Rare Win in the Cat-and-Mouse Game of Ransomware

Nicole Perlroth reports:

In a year rife with ransomware attacks, when cybercriminals have held the data of police departments, grocery and pharmacy chains, hospitals, pipelines and water treatment plants hostage with computer code, it was a win, rare in the scale of its success.

For months, a team of security experts raced to help victims of a high-profile ransomware group quietly recover their data without paying their digital assailants a dime.

… Ransomware criminals encrypt a victim’s data and demand a ransom payment, sometimes millions of dollars, to return access. But when BlackMatter committed a critical error in an update to its code, researchers at Emsisoft, a cybersecurity firm in New Zealand, realized they could exploit the error, decrypt files and return access to the data’s rightful owners.

Read more on New York Times.

Related:  See Emsisoft’s blog post.

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