Criminal hackers who locked computers and demanded ransoms suddenly apologise and unlock everything

In a surprising twist of events, the people who created TeslaCrypt, a kind of computer Trojan virus that locked certain Windows game files and demanded money to restore them, have closed up shop.

More than that, when a security researcher from ESET, a maker of antivirus software, asked them if they would release the key, so anyone infected by their malware could unlock their files, they agreed.

They also announced “project closed” and apologised, reports the ESET blog.

The ESET researcher had noticed that over the past couple of months the TeslaCrypt virus had been used less and less.

The hackers that were distributing this malware had been switching over to to a different type of ransomware, delivering the CryptXXX ransomware instead, reports BleepingComputer.

So the researcher figured, what the heck, since it looks like these folks are shutting down, maybe they will share the key.

He posted a message on their money collecting forum asking them to do that. And they did. Here’s the reply:

TeslaCrypt closedESET/Welivesecurity.comThe makers of TeslaCrypt ransomware announced they have closed shop, apologise and share the key.

ESET has now released a tool that will help anyone still infected with TeslaCrypt to unlock their files.

Please note, ESET warns that just because the TeslaCrypt folks appeared to grow a conscience and shut down, doesn’t mean the world is safe from ransomware. Unfortunately ransomware is so rampant, the FBI, in March, renewed warnings for computer users to beware.

Still, the lesson here is clear: you never what helpful thing someone will do until you ask.

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