Thursday, April 9, 2020

German Programmer takes revenge on BTC ransomware perpetrators

The Takeaway:

German programmer Tobias Frömel (aka "battleck") took revenge on a hacker by hacking back into his system. The perpetrators of Muhstik ransomware forced him to pay 0.09 Bitcoin to help him recover access to his files. Frömel revealed that he attacked the hacker's database to have his revenge as he shared 3000 decryption keys and a free decryptor with the other victims.

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German programmer Tobias Frömel (aka “battleck”) took revenge on a hacker by hacking back into his system. The perpetrators of Muhstik ransomware forced him to pay 0.09 Bitcoin to help him recover access to his files. Frömel revealed that he attacked the hacker’s database to have his revenge as he shared 3000 decryption keys and a free decryptor with the other victims.

Bleeping Computer revealed previously that publicly exposed QNAP NAS devices are under attack by ransomware dubbed as Muhstik. The attackers were able to collect a “fee” of 0.09 Bitcoin (approximately $740) from victims to recover access to their data with the help of decryption keys.

When Frömel figured out the scam, he decided to take revenge as he had already paid $0.09 BTC to them. He hacked their command and control server to gain access to the decryption keys for almost 3000 Muhstik victims who stored the attacker’s database.

Victims have backed up this move by telling that the decryption keys recovered are accurate and that the decryptor provided is also working perfectly. Frömel agreed that the action he took was illegal, but he argued that the intentions behind this were good. He even offered his Bitcoin wallet address for fellow victims to tip him for his work.

After Frömel’s move, anti-virus firm Emsisoft released its decryption software for victims who were running on ARM-based QNAP devices. Last month, Emsisoft released a free fix for Bitcoin-demanding ransomware, WannaCryFake.

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Disclaimer: The article reflects the opinions of the author and is not representative of Chaintimes’ views.
The article does not offer any investment advice. User discretion is advised when investing in or trading with cryptocurrency. Extensive and diligent research should be carried out by the reader before making a decision.

Glenn Harper
Glenn Harper
Glenn has only two interests: Bitcoin and Aviation. After completing his graduation from San Diego State University in 2006, Glenn started working in the airlines and aviation industry. Aviation was his only passion before he came to know about bitcoin in 2012 after which he decided to dedicate 8 hours of his day for aviation and 8 hours for learning and writing about bitcoin and the technology behind it. Glenn lives with his wife and a 7-year-old son who mines ethereum on his computer and is also quite passionate about cryptocurrencies.

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