Security Experts:

Alleged Author of Locker Ransomware Publishes Decryption Keys

An individual claiming to be the developer of the crypto ransomware known as Locker has published the private keys needed to recover the files taken hostage by the threat.

“I am the author of the Locker ransomware and I'm very sorry about that has happened. It was never my intention to release this,” reads a Pastebin post signed by “Poka BrightMinds.”

A CSV file containing Bitcoin addresses and RSA keys has been made available, along with information on the structure of the encrypted files. The alleged author claims that files will also be automatically decrypted starting June 2 at midnight.

The database file contains over 62,000 rows, but most of the keys have not been used, according to the alleged Locker developer.

Several users have confirmed on the Bleeping Computer forum that the published decryption keys are valid. Malware analyst and ransomware expert Nathan Scott has developed Locker Unlocker, a simple tool that allows victims to recover their files.

Locker demands the payment of 0.1 Bitcoin for the decryption key. If the ransom is not paid within 72 hours, the amount increases to 1 Bitcoin.

The threat has been distributed with the aid of a Trojan downloader, which received a command instructing it to install Locker on infected systems on May 25.

Many users have been skeptical about the alleged author’s good intentions, and some have pointed out that he should return the Bitcoins paid by victims if he is truly sorry for his actions. While some have speculated that the individual who released the decryption keys might be a programmer hired to create Locker or that his work has been stolen and abused, many people don’t think he is innocent.

Another piece of ransomware that has made numerous headlines over the past weeks is TeslaCrypt. In April, Cisco released a tool that recovers the master encryption key used by TeslaCrypt and restores the content of encrypted files.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.