AstraLocker ransomware operators told BleepingComputer they’re shutting down the operation and provided decryptors to the VirusTotal malware analysis platform.
AstraLocker is based on the source code of the Babuk Locker (Babyk) ransomware that was leaked online on June 2021.
BleepingComputer tested the decryptors and confirmed they are legitimate. The threat actors behind Astralocker told BleepingCompyter that they plan to abandon the extortion and switch to cryptojacking.
The real reason behind the decision to cease the operation could be the pressure by law enforcement in response to their recent attacks.
BleepingComputer also confirmed that cyber security firm Emsisoft is working on a universal decryptor for AstraLocker ransomware that will allow victims to recover their files for free.
Recently, researchers from ReversingLabs discovered some samples of the AstraLocker 2.0 malware that have been distributed through malspam campaign using weaponized Microsoft Word documents.
Experts also noticed that a Monero wallet address used by the group for the ransom payment is tied to the Chaos Ransomware group.
“The “smash and grab” attack methodology as well as other features suggest the attacker behind this malware is low-skill and looking to cause disruption, compared with the more patient, methodical, and measured approach to compromises used by Babuk and other, more sophisticated ransomware outfits.” reported ReversingLabs. “This underscores the risk posed to organizations following code leaks like that affecting Babuk, as a large population of low-skill, high-motivation actors leverage the leaked code for use in their own attacks.”
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ransomware)