Kaspersky launches a free tool to unlock ransomware

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Security company Kaspersky has joined forces with the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) of the Dutch police to provide users with a free tool that decrypts files locked by ransomware.

Kaspersky restores locked files

The NHTCU recently discovered a CoinVault server and a database of decryption keys. The agency then shared those keys with Kaspersky to create the tool, which can unlock users’ encrypted files and then restore them to their systems, thus getting around the ransomware.

CoinVault infects Windows computers and then encrypts files so that their original owners cannot access them, and has been used by hackers since last year to lock users out of the files for ransom.

Kaspersky Ransomware Unlocker

More than 700 computers have succumbed to CoinVault in the Netherlands, with many more affected in the US and Germany.

The new Kaspersky tool isn’t totally foolproof, because the NHTCU has found all the CoinVault keys from the single server. However, the Dutch police are still investigating and hopefully will find new keys to boost the success rate of the tool.

Kaspersky’s ransomware decryptor can be found on the company’s website, plus a desktop app and how-to guide.

Have you been a victim of so-called Ransomware? Do you use anti-virus software on your PC? Let us know in the comments below.

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