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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?