French Authorities Release Free Decryptor for PyLocky Ransomware

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The French Ministry of Interior has released a free decryption tool for the PyLocky ransomware to help victims recover their data. 

Initially spotted in attacks in July and August last year, the malware was posing as the infamous Locky ransomware that dominated the threat scene in 2016. Written in Python, the malware has been mainly active in Europe, and particularly in France. 

Once installed on a victim’s machine, the threat targets around 150 file types for encryption, including image, video, document, sound, program, game, database, and archive files, among others. The malware also gathers system information and features anti-sandbox capabilities. 

Usually spreading via spam emails, the ransomware has been actively targeting both businesses and home users, the French authorities reveal. 

Now, victims of the ransomware can recover their files for free, courtesy of the newly released tool, now available on France’s national platform Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr. 

The decryptor was designed to recover files encrypted with versions 1 (extension .lockedfile or .lockymap) and version 2 (extension .locky) of PyLocky. Files encrypted with other iterations of the malware cannot be recovered using this tool. 

The program can be used on machines running Windows 7 or higher and requires Java JRE (Java Runtime Environment) version 8.

“Please note that the decryption of the files doesn’t clean the infected computer of the ransomware,” the French Ministry of Interior points out. 

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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