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The TeslaCrypt ransomware variant was shut down unexpectedly today and the decryption master key released to the public, allowing anyone affected by the ransomware to recover data.
An ESET researcher reached out to the team behind TeslaCrypt and asked for the private key used by the ransomware, and the response contained a surprise. Someone behind TeslaCrypt told ESET the ransomware effort was closed, provided the TeslaCrypt master key and even said, “We are sorry.”
ESET had already built a universal decryption tool to allow anyone affected by the ransomware to recover their data. But experts are confounded by the abrupt release of the TeslaCrypt master key.
“The sudden closing of the ransomware project is strange, especially as TeslaCrypt was one of the most prevalent strains of ransomware at the time and was likely making significant money,” said Alastair Paterson, CEO and co-founder of Digital Shadows Ltd., based in San Francisco.
Michael Taylor, applications and product development lead for Rook Security Inc., based in Indianapolis, said there were a few possible reasons for the release of the TelsaCrypt master key, including that the team had a “crisis of conscience.”
Read full article here: TeslaCrypt master key release confounds experts