Two bitcoin ransomware strains are taken down by Dutch authorities

Recent reports indicate that two ransomware platforms known by the names of CoinVault and BitCryptor have been taken down. The heroes of the show were Dutch law enforcement agencies alongside with a private Russian cybersecurity firm.

For those who are not yet aware, ransomware is an interesting type of attack which locks down users’ computers, and demands ransoms, often paid in bitcoin in order to allow the victims to access their files freely once again. The two authors who have developed the platforms were arrested, after being tracked down by Dutch Police, and the Kaspersky cybersecurity firm.

It seems like the two platforms locked computer files, then proceeded to open a window, where users were informed about the hack, and told how much money they should send, and to which address. Once 24 hours expired, the sum needed to decrypt the computer would increase by $100.

Kaspersky has also managed to crack the decryption keys, which are now available for use by those affected by the two ransomware platforms. 14,000 decryption keys, which are required by users to access their blocked files, can be used alongside with a decryption tool that comes as a free download.

Based on the latest reports, it seems like the two ransomware strains have managed to successfully infect thousands of PCs, thus earning thousands of dollars-worth of bitcoin. Unfortunately, there aren’t the only ransomware strains operating via bitcoin. The team behind Cryptowall 3.0, a similar platform is still nowhere to be found. The authors of this platform have reportedly managed to earn around $325 million in profits from bitcoin ransom payments, after infecting thousands of computers. As Cryptowall 3.0 employs sophisticated techniques meant to throw law enforcement off tracks, it’ll be a while before the authors of the ransomware strain are found and face the consequences of their actions.

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