Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Shade Ransomware Authors Release Decryption Keys

The developers behind the Shade ransomware on Monday announced that they ceased operations and publicly released decryption keys to let their victims recover files for free.

The developers behind the Shade ransomware on Monday announced that they ceased operations and publicly released decryption keys to let their victims recover files for free.

Also referred to as Troldesh and Encoder.858, Shade has been present on the malware landscape since 2014. Updated with backdoor capabilities in 2016, the Trojan became one of the most prevalent threats last year, when it was observed targeting over 340 file extensions for encryption (using AES 256).

Shade was mainly distributed via phishing emails carrying malicious ZIP archives. Last year, security researchers discovered that it was the most prevalent piece of malware being stored in hidden “well-known” directories of HTTPS sites.

Now, the ransomware’s authors say they actually stopped distributing the malware at the end of last year, and that they now decided to completely close shop and release over 750,000 decryption keys, along with their decryption utility.

“Now we made a decision to put the last point in this story and to publish all the decryption keys we have (over 750 thousands at all). We are also publishing our decryption soft; we also hope that, having the keys, antivirus companies will issue their own more user-friendly decryption tools,” the ransomware authors noted on GitHub.

The developers also claim that other data related to the operation, including the Trojan’s source code, has been destroyed.

“We apologize to all the victims of the trojan and hope that the keys we published will help them to recover their data,” they say.

Additionally, the ransomware authors published instructions on how victims can recover their files even without the help of dedicated decryption tools.

Victims are advised to wait for anti-malware companies to release official decryption tools for files encrypted by Shade, but there’s no information available yet on when such utilities will become available.

Related: Human-Operated Ransomware Is a Growing Threat to Businesses: Microsoft

Related: GandCrab Ransomware Authors Announce Shut Down

Related: Attackers Store Malware in Hidden Directories of Compromised HTTPS Sites

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...