Victims of the Bart ransomware, which is capable of encrypting victims' files even when they don't have an internet connection, can now recover their lost data for free.
The tool is a direct result of a collaboration between security firms, Europol and the police as part of the No More Ransom initiative by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, which today released 15 new decryption tools for various types of ransomware.
First spotted in July last year, Bart is different to other ransomware families in that it can encrypt the victim's files even if they aren't connected to the internet. This is because it doesn't require a command-and-control server connection prior to encrypting files -- it merely locks files in password-protected ZIP folders.
However, the decryption process does require the victim to be connected to the internet, so that the attackers can access the command-and-control server required to transfer the Bitcoin ransom paid by the victim, and decrypt their files.
Ultimately, this ransomware shows how cybercriminals can successfully extort payments from victims, even if the encryption method is very basic.
Although simplistic, Bart has been very successful at extracting payments from victims. But now security researchers at Bitdefender have released a free decryptor tool that combats all forms of Bart ransomware.
As well as tools for decrypting Bart, No More Ransom has released tools for unlocking Merry X-Mas, Popcorn, and other ransomware variants, allowing more victims to retrieve their files without paying the criminals.
Launched in July last year, the No More Ransom portal provides keys to unlocking files held hostage by various types of ransomware, as well as information on how to avoid getting infected in the first place.