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Ransomware Foiled... a bit.
Two IT companies partnered to create a free tool (no longer available) to decrypt your encrypted data if you get hit with the Cryptolocker ransomware. All you have to do is upload an encrypted file and they will send you a decryption key.
You may have experienced or at least heard about Cryptolocker ransomware. It is a nasty way for hackers to get you to give them money in return for your own data. If you open a file with the Cryptolocker virus on it, your hard disk will be encrypted and the miscreants will require a ransom to provide a decryption key allowing you to decrypt your files. The FBI reports that over half a million computers have been attacked, yielding the hackers some $27m in ransom since the virus showed up on the scene in September of 2013.
Of course, the way to avoid getting the virus is not to open attachments from people you don't know or visit links that might be a risk, but if you do get hacked, at least there is an alternative to paying the freight or wiping your hard drive and starting over.
Internet security firm FireEye and threat intelligence company FoxIT used a trove of half a million encryption keys recovered in an FBI raid to build the tool. Of course, the bad guys have come out with new versions of Cryptolocker that are not able to be cracked by the system, but older versions can be unencrypted.
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