Threat Management, Incident Response, TDR

LeChiffre ransomware dissected, then cracked

LeChiffre, the good guys have your number.

The security firm Emsisoft has devised a decryptor program for the LeChiffre ransomware, allowing users to unlock their stolen files for free, Softpedia reported today. Earlier this month, the ransomware infected three Indian banks and a pharmaceutical company, demanding one bitcoin per compromised computer and reportedly causing millions of dollars in damage.

Emsisoft cracked the code after researchers from Malwarebytes separately investigated the malware and discovered it possessed several unusual properties. Unlike most ransomware programs which run automatically upon download, LeChiffree had to be manually executed. Attackers could only launch the program by cracking into poorly secured remote desktops, manually logging in and running it.

LeChiffre is French for “the number” but is also roughly translated as the verb “encrypt.” The Malwarebytes blog noted that while LeChiffre looks “very unprofessional” with practically “no countermeasures against analysis,” it nonetheless succeeded in inflicting damage.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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