Now on Demand Ransomware Resilience & Recovery Summit - All Sessions Available
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



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.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

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


Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.


SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.


People on the Move

Bill Dunnion has joined telecommunications giant Mitel as Chief Information Security Officer.

MSSP Dataprise has appointed Nima Khamooshi as Vice President of Cybersecurity.

Backup and recovery firm Keepit has hired Kim Larsen as CISO.

More People On The Move

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.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.

CISO Conversations

Joanna Burkey, CISO at HP, and Kevin Cross, CISO at Dell, discuss how the role of a CISO is different for a multinational corporation...