An updated decryption tool enables victims of GandCrab ransomware version 5.2 and below to recover their affected files for free.
Bitdefender announced that users can download the decryption tool by visiting the No More Ransom Project, an initiative that seeks to connect crypto-ransomware victims with free decryptors. This utility arrived just a few weeks after the creators of GandCrab announced their retirement. As part of that transition, the malware authors vowed to delete all of the outstanding decryption keys, preventing victims from paying the ransom to recover their files going forward.
As reported by ZDNet, the individuals behind GandCrab said they’re retiring because they’ve “proven that by doing evil deeds, retribution does not come.” They said they made a total of $2 billion from their ransomware campaigns overall, having generated about $2.5 million every week from ransom payments alone.
Decryption Tool Puts a Dent in GandCrab’s Profits
According to Bitdefender, GandCrab’s authors likely exaggerated those numbers. The security firm noted that its GandCrab decryption tool, of which it had released three prior versions, had thwarted 30,000 successful infections and saved victims a total of $50 million at the time of this writing.
GandCrab is only the latest ransomware family for which security researchers have developed decryption tools. In May, Emsisoft released a decryptor for JSWorm 2.0. This was just a few weeks before the French Ministry of Interior unveiled a similar utility for PyLocky versions 1 and 2.
Mount a Layered Ransomware Defense
Beyond decryption tools, security teams can help defend their organizations against ransomware by integrating data backups, anti-malware solutions and other tools into a holistic, layered defense strategy. Security awareness training is also crucial to educate employees about common social engineering techniques attackers use to distribute ransomware and other threats.