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Bitdefender’s Trans-European Initiative Gives Crippling Blow to GandCrab

BitDefender, the cybersecurity company behind the award-winning antivirus, has announced that a fourth decryption key for the notorious GandCrab is now available.

The decryptor, which is the fruit of collaboration between the Metropolitan Police, Interpol, FBI, French Police, Bulgarian, and Romanian Police, will allow the users to retrieve their locked data without paying any ransom.

So far, Bitdefender’s decryptors have helped over 30,000 PC users fend off GandCrab attacks. Official estimates reveal that the hackers could have extorted over $50 million if not for these decryptors.

The end of ransomware?

Of course, Bitdefender’s initiative is more than welcoming. Even knowing that we have one more weapon in the anti-malware arsenal makes us breathe easily. Unfortunately, were far from being able to counter every ransomware on the market.

GandCrab is, without a doubt, one of the most prolific viral codes, accounting for over 50 percent of cyber attacks. Sure, we now have four decryption keys, which means more chances of retrieving our data during a malware attack, but it’s hardly the happy ending we were all hoping for.

The bad news is that GandCrab and its gang are evolving. Moreover, every new attack is far more aggressive and sophisticated compared to its predecessor. The truth of the matter is that the cybersecurity industry will always be one step behind hackers. Why? Because demand and offer, that’s why.

The Dark Web, aka the Internet’s black market, is teeming with shady characters who just can’t wait to sink their teeth into very personal information. There are even talk of some form of affiliate marketing going around on the deep web, consultancy programs, and around-the-clock customer services if you can believe that.

Things are not as bleak as they seem, and Bitdefender’s recent announcement seems to confirm that. Now, thanks to this trans-European collaboration, users will be able to retrieve their data if their devices got locked by GangCrab.

According to the cybersecurity company, the fourth decryption key will enable the retrieval of info locked by GangCrab versions 1.4 through 5.2.

Why use a decryptor when you can just hand over the money and get it over with? Because that makes you a loyal customer, so to speak; hackers are more likely to lock the device a second time if the victim forks over the dough compared to the case where the user contacts the authorities.

Wrap-up

Apart from the fourth decryptor, Bitdefender’s researchers also left us with some precious advice. First of all, we should never pay the ransom; there’s no guarantee that the hackers will unlock the data once the payment’s made.

Second of all, in case your computer gets locked by ransomware, you should contact the authorities as soon as possible.

Finally, to prevent complete data loss, you should back up your info to an external device such as a portable hard-disk, flash memory, SD card, CD or DVD. As always, be careful about suspicious links, never share personal data on request, and stay away from the Dark Web.

So, what’s your take on Bitdefender giving GandCrab a knuckle sandwich in the yapper?

Head to the comments section and let me know your thoughts.

About Daniel Sadler

Old-school PC gamer, poetry buff, cat lover, tech wiz. His writing career began almost two decades ago when he modestly acknowledged that hindsight or, lack thereof, can compromise security. He enjoys spending quality time with his friends and family. Most of his friends refer to Daniel as a "man of a few words, but, man, what words!" His interests include cybersecurity, IT, blogging, and, of course, everything related to technology.

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