Unencryption key offered… for a hefty price.
It’s been just over a week since Petya ransomware had its way with a global pool of tech users. Since that time, investigators have traced its origins – along with that of two other related strains – back to a small accounting software firm in the Ukraine. The authorities are reportedly intending to post criminal charges against the firm as Petya supposedly spread through an update from the firm MeDoc following multiple reports of inadequate security on their network.
Unencryption – for a price
The developers of the ransomware have now come out and offered the unencryption key for a hefty price. Their $250,000 price tag allegedly unlocks individual files but not everything, as the code for the ransomware appears not to even let the developers regain full access. Interestingly, there have yet to be any recorded Bitcoin transactions in that amount since their announcement.
According to The Verge, “It’s unclear whether anyone took the malware authors up on their offer, although so far no bitcoin transactions of that size have been spotted. The authors have also been emptying their original bitcoin wallet, which contained roughly $10,000 in payouts from the first round of Petya infections. Forbes tracked two small donations to PasteBin and DeepPaste before the remaining amount was transferred to an unknown account, presumably bound for a bitcoin laundering service.”
Ransomware attacks have been an increasing threat, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, largely because they tend to be successful depending on the industry who’s hit. The first round of Petya netted a small profit for its developers, so there’s no reason to think they’ll back off any time soon.