WASHINGTON — A new service is helping computer users unlock files recently held for ransom by CryptoLocker malware.
CryptoLocker is a type of ransomware that typically targeted small enterprises, encrypting the files of computers it infected and giving victims 72 hours to pay a ransom, typically around $350, within 72 hours, to receive a private key that decrypts their files.
In December of last year, Dell SecureWorks estimated CryptoLocker had infected 250,000 victims, according to ZDNet.
In June of this year, the Department of Justice took down a ring of cyber-criminals in what was known as Gameover Zeus Botnet, which the agency says has neutralized the threat.
Still, many CryptoLocker victims have not been able to decrypt their files.
According to the security companies, to use the DecryptCryptoLocker tool, users need to:
On its blog, FireEye offers step-by- step instructions on how to run the program to decrypt the files.
The fix is not foolproof, however.
FireEye says there are several variants of CryptoLocker, and the tool may not successfully decrypt files encrypted by every variant.