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This article was published on May 20, 2016


    Ransomware creators release master key for decrypting files and say ‘sorry’

    Ransomware creators release master key for decrypting files and say ‘sorry’
    Ben Woods
    Story by

    Ben Woods

    Europe Editor

    Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

    Yes, there are hacks, ransomware and data leaks in the headlines virtually every day, but it’s not usually a case of reporting that the creators of the malicious software are trying to right their wrongs (sort of).

    The creators of malware known as TeslaCrypt unexpectedly handed over the master key so anyone with locked down files can regain access. The malware largely targeted gamers, and relevant files required for popular games. In some cases, it requested up to $1,000 to restore access to the files, according to the BBC.

    teslacrypt_closed-1024x204
    Credit: Eset

    Researchers from security firm ESET, having retrieved the master code along with a single line apology, then made a free decryption tool, so don’t reach for that bitcoin wallet to make a payment just now.

    Of course, this project being closed could just be the result of it no longer being profitable enough to bother with any more, rather than its creators turning over a new leaf. You can dream though, eh.