TeslaCrypt ransomware now impossible to crack, researchers say

Victims can either either restore files from a backup or if that's not possible, pay up

The latest version of the TeslaCrypt ransomware has tidied up a weakness in previous versions that in some cases allowed victims to recover their files without paying a ransom.

Cisco's Talos research group found that TeslaCrypt 3.0.1 has improved its implementation of a cryptographic algorithm making it impossible now to decrypt files.

"We can not say it loud and often enough, ransomware has become the black plague of the internet," wrote Andrea Allievi and Holger Unterbrink, both security researchers with Cisco, in a blog post on Wednesday. "The adversaries are modifying and improving it in every version."

Weaknesses in versions of TeslaCrypt allowed researchers to create tools including TeslaCrack, Tesladecrypt and TeslaDecoder for people to decrypt their files without paying a ransom.

That encryption weakness has now been closed.

"Unfortunately, so far we are not aware of any tool which can do the same for this variant of TeslaCrypt," the Cisco reseachers wrote.

Ransomware schemes have become one of the most common scams on the Internet. The malware encrypts a user's files, then displays instructions for how victims can pay to obtain the decryption key.

Although ransomware has been around for more than a decade, the schemes have proliferated in the last couple of years, striking consumers and businesses.

Antivirus programs often miss ransomware, as its authors make minor tweaks to the code to avoid security scanning.

Backing up files is the best defense, but the FBI warned last month that cybercriminals are increasingly aiming "to infect whole networks with ransomware and use persistent access to locate and delete network backups," according to the Security Ledger.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags security

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?