Good news for Key Group ransomware victims: Free decryptor out now

Trending 3 weeks ago

Even ransomware operators make mistakes, and successful nan lawsuit of ransomware pack nan Key Group, a cryptographic correction allowed a squad of information researchers to create and merchandise a decryption instrumentality to reconstruct scrambled files.

The decryptor only useful connected a circumstantial type of nan ransomware built astir August 3, according to threat intel supplier EclecticIQ, which spotted nan criminals' mistakes and exploited them to create nan Python-based restoration tool. 

It's disposable for free: EclecticIQ published nan Python book connected Thursday successful a study astir nan Russian-speaking gang. Check retired nan details, and scroll measurement down to Appendix A for nan smart script. 

If you are a Key Group ransomware victim, we'd propose you look into nan supra earlier excessively long, successful lawsuit nan pack catches upwind of nan decryption instrumentality and rewrites its malware accordingly — or changes its business model altogether.

"Key Group ransomware uses AES encryption, implemented successful C#, utilizing nan RijndaelManaged class, which is simply a symmetric encryption algorithm," EclecticIQ interrogator Arda Büyükkaya wrote.

It encrypts victims' information utilizing AES successful CBC mode utilizing a cardinal derived from a fixed password and fixed salt, Büyükkaya said. And this is wherever nan pack screwed up, we're told: that fixed brackish pinch a fixed password. That makes it beautiful trivial to constitute a decryption regular for nan ransomwared files for arsenic you cognize each nan secrets needed to reverse nan encryption.

"The ransomware uses nan aforesaid fixed AES cardinal and initialization vector (IV) to recursively encrypt unfortunate information and alteration nan sanction of encrypted files pinch nan keygroup777tg extension," Büyükkaya said.

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This fixed encryption key, on pinch "multiple cryptographic mistakes," allowed EclecticIQ to reverse technologist nan malware, and create a decryptor for this peculiar version.

Despite its mistakes, nan pack still believes it is utilizing a "military-grade encryption algorithm," and has been telling victims that they person nary action different than paying nan ransom request if they want to reconstruct their data. Such is PR.

The threat intel squad besides describes Key Group, which has only been astir since January, arsenic a "low-sophisticated threat actor," which is beautiful damning.

In summation to nan gang's nationalist Telegram channel, which it uses to discuss ransom payments, EclecticIQ analysts opportunity they've besides seen Key Group usage a backstage Telegram transmission for trading and sharing SIM cards, doxing data, and distant entree to IP camera servers. ®